"My mom passed out in our living room," Vanessa Foster, 9, told the crowd at the recent Butte County Dispatch Center's open house for their emergency operations center.

"She closed her eyes," she said. "I went over to see, so I called 911."

Dispatcher Jada Udager, who later would receive her own plaque as Dispatcher of the Year, said, "She was on a track phone that had no minutes and a low battery," but did have enough power to call dispatch and get through some garble from the low power.

"She did a really good job and stayed on her phone just like we taught her," Udager said.

Vanessa had been in one of the center's second grade classroom visits in Belle Fourche, and followed directions just as she had been told to do.

Her mother, Angela Foster, said she was first helped by two Belle Fourche police officers who found her home thanks to Vanessa's efforts to communicate with the dispatchers. They were Jeremy Biegert and Jason O'Connor.

Udager later played the tape from the telephone call. Although Vanessa's voice sometimes sounded like she was speaking under water, she stayed on the telephone until she got enough of a message to 911 so police could find her home.

She had a younger sibling unlock the door for the officers who then took over the communications duties.

Udager was honored by Sheriff Fred Lamphere and head dispatcher Dallas Ford as dispatcher of the year for the kind of calm response she gave Vanessa and hundreds of other callers with emergencies.

Friend of Dispatch was Andy Demos.

Demos recently sold his wrecker service, but continues to work with the new owners as they get to know the Belle Fourche and Tri-State area.

Dispatchers said Demos was always there when needed, and always worked well to keep them up with road conditions and circumstances at accident sites.

Sarah Kirby, 8, won her age division in the dispatch coloring contest and Trey Smeenk, 6, of Newell won his age division.


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