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Dispatcher credited in saving two lives in fire

Posted at 6:34 PM, Dec 30, 2015
and last updated 2015-12-30 20:34:36-05

PHOENIX (KGUN9-TV)  - A 911 dispatcher is being credited for saving the lives of two people who were trapped in an apartment on fire Wednesday morning.

KGUN9 sister station KNXV reports, it was quick thinking from Dispatcher Brad Christmas to get his first rescue over the phone.

At 3:15 a.m. the morning of December 30, Christmas answered the 911 call that resulted in Tempe Firefighters responding and rescuing two people and their cats from a working fire in their apartment. 

Christmas told the survivors to seek a way to get out, and, when that was not possible, he coached them to protect themselves in the bathroom.

"Maam go in the bathroom now. You need to save yourself and go in the bathroom now," Christmas said to the woman on the other line.

By closing the door, wetting towels, stuffing them under the door, and by using other towels to cover their faces and breathe through them, Christmas gave the survivors time to be rescued by Tempe Fire.

The two waited for 11 minutes on the phone with Christmas until Tempe Fire arrived.

"Let's see if we can work on you guys controlling your breathing...lets see if we can slow that down a little bit," said Christmas.

 Christmas said he felt nothing but relief after the two and their cats were able to get out safely.