A Hartford 911 dispatcher took her duties to the next level when she received a call from an 86-year-old local resident. Francis Royer called 911 when she experienced what she considered an emergency. “I just wanted to know if someone could take my garbage out,” she said. “I’m 86 years old, I’m handicapped and I got a heart condition. I got nobody.”
Another dispatcher may have dismissed the call, but Royer’s call touched something in Katherine Grady. Grady was getting ready to wrap up her work day when she received Royer’s call. After hearing Royer’s concerns, Grady immediately volunteered to go to Royer’s residence on her day off and help her get her garbage out. Apparently, the garbage had piled up for two weeks and the neighbors who normally helped Royer, were experiencing their own family issues and unable to help during the last couple of weeks.
Grady explained that though the call wasn’t a typical emergency by 911 standards, she knew that to Royer it was an emergency all the same. She went to Royer’s house and took the garbage out as well as helping bring some heavier boxes up from the basement. According to Grady, Royer’s house was tidy and in perfect order and she felt that is why the accumulated garbage was so bothersome to elderly resident.
The Hartford 911 department receives approximately 160,000 calls each year, but this particular call made Grady take pause. Royer has been a Hartford resident for over 40 years and she told Grady that the once small town used to be a place where people helped each other. That pulled at her heartstrings and she immediately volunteered to help Royer.
The local news station caught up with Royer and found that her family all lives out of state but she has since arranged for an in-home assistance program to help her with her daily needs.