The coyotes were surrounding her. Stalking her. Four of them. And the woman who had been out for a routine walk with her dogs was in fear.
When she called 911, she told Groveland Police dispatcher Cynthia Batista she was "scared to death" by what was happening that day last June.
Batista remained calm and reassuring, even comforting, as she collected information from the woman and pinpointed her location based on her cellphone signal. Batista directed officers in their cruisers to the woman's location near the area known as the Center Street Pits.
At one point, the woman says she plans to run. "You don't want to run, honey," Batista says calmly. "Don't run."
Eventually, the woman found her way out of the wooded area, meeting a cruiser. And the coyotes melted back into the woods.
Batista was one of 12 dispatchers who received 911 Honors Awards this week in a ceremony at Mechanics Hall in Worcester.
It was the third annual ceremony held by the State 911 Department. And it honored not the police and firefighters who brave the bullets and the blazes, but those who man the radios and phones at headquarters, keeping a cool head, and a firm grip on the chaos.
"The honorees are being recognized for their forward thinking, composure and training that enabled them to assist the responding units in the field and diffuse the emergency situation to the best of their ability," the department said in a statement.
Groveland Police Sergeant Dwight McDonald, who is in charge of dispatching at the station, said he thought Batista "handled the call beautifully."
"Cindy is, by nature, a calm person. She was able to calm this woman who was very upset on the phone so she could lead her out of the woods to a road where the cruiser could meet her," McDonald said.
"Some people suffer from brainlock when things get exciting," McDonald said. "It's a must to be calm and clear-headed."
Also honored were: Diane Clifford, Boston Fire senior alarm operator; Joanne Demers, State Police dispatch supervisor; Russell Deming, Quincy Police dispatcher; Daniel Dunleavy, Douglas Police dispatcher; Edward E. Johnson, Wareham Police dispatcher; Siobhan McIntyre, Brookline Public Safety dispatcher; Sharon Moran, Brockton Police dispatcher; Gregory Polin, State Police dispatcher; Wareham Police Officer David Simmons; Jerry Suarez, Boston Police communications equipment operator; and Kim Thebeau, Shirley Police/Fire dispatcher.
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