911 operator honored following mass shooting

Dispatcher Stacey Frilot was honored for her efforts in handling a mass shooting incident
April 13, 2014 12:32:56 PM PDT
A Houston 911 operator is being recognized for her handling of a call no one wants to get -- a mass shooting.

It was November 9, 2013.

"Harris County Sheriff's Office was inundated with 51 911 phone call in four minutes," said Harris County Sheriff's Office 911 coordinator Kathi Yost.

The calls were coming in from Cy-Fair about a mass shooting at a house party.

"It was complete organized chaos," said dispatcher Stacey Frilot.

At the Harris County Sheriff's Office 911 emergency dispatch center, 911 operators were fielding the emergency calls, and Frilot, who was working to dispatch deputies, knew that every second counts.

"Your first response and reaction is to get people out there and get the citizens the help they need," she said. "I had to paint the scene for them so they know what they were going into."

With each call, more details about the deadly house party shooting that ended with more than a dozen people injured and Mortan Ranch High School students , Arielle Shepherd, 17, and Queric Richardson, 17, killed.

At the time, Frilot, taking the lead, was working tirelessly under pressure and was able to keep her composure then, but thinking back on that day is tough.

"It was a mass array of different agencies, different resources," she said.

"Stacey maintained 100 percent professionalism at that time," Yost recalled. "She was calm and she orchestrated the chaos. She was like a symphony orchestra."

Months later, she has been rewarded for her work on that day, nominated by her supervisor, winning the prestigious award for Texas 911 Telecommunicator of the Year.

"It took me 16 hours to write her nomination because it was so emotional," Yost said.

"You don't have a chance to make a mistake as a 911 operator," Yost said. "You have lives on the line. You get one chance and that's it. And when you have that chance you have to be at the top of your game."

Frilot says she's proud, but finds the award humbling.

"It almost feels surreal, because if anyone asks me, I was just doing my job," she explained.