'Incredibly special feeling' after helping crash victim

Chris Pulley trainer at Cambridgeshire Police demand hub

Chris Pulley was seconded to a trainer role before this role was made permanent in August after two years as a dispatcher in the force’s demand hub. - Credit: Cambridgeshire Constabulary

It's a cold winter night and a 999 call comes in from a desperate woman who’s been involved in an horrific car crash. 

She is trapped, her vehicle upside down in a ditch, and she’s slipping in and out of consciousness. 

Dispatcher Chris Pulley knows it’s a life-or-death situation but he has to remain calm and do his job if the woman is to survive. 

The urgent priority is to pinpoint her location so officers can get to the scene. 

Chris and another dispatcher trace her mobile phone while other call takers listen for sirens in the background of calls to get an indication of when officers are closing in on her location. 

The woman has contacted her son who has passed information to a call taker.  

Meanwhile other call takers try to contact her directly, which is made harder due to her intermittent consciousness. 

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Soon after, the crash site was found and the woman was rescued, but only thanks to a team effort which brought together different roles and skillsets, combining local knowledge, technology and information. 

It’s this type of incident, those that are traumatic and life-changing for those involved, which were often most rewarding for Chris, who has now become a trainer after two years as a dispatcher. 

“It may sound strange but some of my most rewarding calls during my time in the control room were collisions and burglaries”, Chris said. 

“It’s an incredibly special feeling being on the other end of the radio helping officers when a member of the public is often having the worst day of their life. 

“I will also never forget the times where I have sent officers to scenes of burglaries which have then resulted in arrests.

"The job is far from easy but one of the biggest satisfactions I found was making sure officers were able to go home at the end of their shift.” 

Cambridgeshire Police says the role can be emotionally challenging and difficult, but also incredibly rewarding.   

They shared the story of Demand Hub dispatcher-turned-trainer Chris Pulley as part of international control room week.  

Chris added: “I love what I do and feel extremely proud to be part of the policing family." 

“Being able to help the public, get officers home safely and teach the future generation of staff is a feeling that can’t be topped.”