The Ottumwa Courier

AP National

July 2, 2013

Dispatchers honored for role in Newtown response

HARTFORD, Conn. (AP) — From the first call from inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, the severity of the attack was immediately clear to dispatcher Robert Nute.

The person on the other end of the line was a woman Nute has known for 30 years, but it hardly sounded like her.

"There was no question in my mind," Nute said. "The woman I was speaking with, I could tell the difference in her voice."

As shots rang out from the gunman's semi-automatic rifle, the dispatchers sent police racing to the school and worked to keep panicked callers on the line. Within a few minutes, the rampage was over, with 20 children and six women killed before the gunman committed suicide as police arrived at the schoolhouse.

The staff at the Newtown Emergency Communications Center has won praise from officials and colleagues around the country for their work that day. Six months after the Dec. 14 massacre, the center director said the staff has been lifted by the outpouring of support as the dispatchers recover emotionally, along with the community that still peppers them with calls over anything out of the ordinary.

After losing contact with the woman who first called, Nute feared she had been killed, but he learned she survived.

"It was six minutes, maybe eight, and that part of it was over," he said. "My partner and I did exactly what we were supposed to do under those circumstances. Only then do you allow that personal impact to take over."

Nute, who attended Sandy Hook Elementary as child and is a volunteer Sandy Hook firefighter, said the hardest work that morning began in the immediate aftermath of the shooting, as parents sought information and groups called offering assistance and donations. The center director, Maureen Will, said it received as many as 300 calls an hour and the phones were broken within three days from the constant jamming of the buttons.

Text Only
AP National
  • Court critical of Ohio law punishing campaign lies WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court appears to be highly skeptical of laws that try to police false statements during political campaigns, raising doubts about the viability of such laws in more than 15 states. Justices expressed those concerns early

    April 23, 2014

  • Report on CIA interrogations shadows Gitmo trials WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate's forthcoming report on the CIA's use of harsh interrogation techniques could add to the legal complications facing the long-delayed U.S. military tribunals of terrorist suspects at the Guantanamo Bay detention camp. The

    April 23, 2014

  • APNewsBreak: Clemency after 10 years in prison? WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department will begin considering clemency applications from nonviolent federal inmates who have behaved in prison, have no significant criminal history and have already served more than 10 years behind bars, according t

    April 23, 2014

  • Missouri executes inmate for 1993 farm slaying BONNE TERRE, Mo. (AP) — Missouri executed an inmate early Wednesday only a few miles from the farm where prosecutors say he orchestrated the 1993 killing of a couple whose cows he wanted to steal. William Rousan's last words were, "My trials and tran

    April 23, 2014

  • Republican activists push party on gay marriage LAS VEGAS (AP) — As bans against gay marriage crumble and public opinion on the issue shifts rapidly, some Republicans are pushing the party to drop its opposition to same-sex unions, part of a broader campaign to get the GOP to appeal to younger vot

    April 23, 2014

  • Poll: Big Bang a big question for most Americans WASHINGTON (AP) — Few Americans question that smoking causes cancer. But they express bigger doubts as concepts that scientists consider to be truths get further from our own experiences and the present time, an Associated Press-GfK poll found. Ameri

    April 21, 2014

  • Delay won't quell 2014 wrangling over Keystone XL WASHINGTON (AP) — Democrats sweating this year's elections may be hoping that the Obama administration's latest delay to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline takes a politically fraught issue off the table for the midterms. Fat chance. An indefinite ext

    April 21, 2014

  • After bombs, Boston Marathon under tight security BOSTON (AP) — A large police presence greeted runners and spectators filtering in Monday morning for the Boston Marathon, a year after a pair of homemade pressure-cooker bombs near the finish line killed three people and wounded more than 260 others.

    April 21, 2014

  • 10 Things to Know for Today Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today: 1. WHO HAS HARSH WORDS FOR SOUTH KOREA FERRY CREW President Park Geun-hye says the captain and some crew members of the sunken ship committed "unf

    April 21, 2014

  • Kids get codeine in ER despite risks, guidelines CHICAGO (AP) — There's new evidence that the potent painkiller codeine is being given to hundreds of thousands of children in emergency rooms despite guidelines on limiting its use. That is the conclusion of a study based on an analysis of 10 years o

    April 21, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National