'It's what I was put on earth to do,' said Dauphin County dispatcher honored by the Commissioners for saving life of woman injured in an auto accident
HARRISBURG, PA (July 18, 2018) – Countless cars had passed the tree branch in the center of Fishing Creek Valley Road in Middle Paxton Township, but something about it didn’t seem right to Glenn T. Supplee.
The 25-year-old Dauphin County emergency dispatcher – Tyler to those who know him – was taking a drive with wife and infant daughter after visiting the Farm Show and made a U-turn to take a closer look. It was then he spotted the wrecked car 700 feet off the road, almost hidden by trees.
For his quick action on Jan. 10, 2018 that saved the driver’s life – who Supplee later learned was the daughter of a co-worker – Supplee was honored Wednesday by the Dauphin County Commissioners. Helping to honor Supplee was the driver, Madison Megonnell, 18, who has fully recovered, and her father Andy Megonnell, a training specialist for the county’s Emergency Management Agency (EMA).
“As an emergency dispatcher, as a volunteer firefighter and as just someone who never stops looking for ways to help his fellow citizens, Tyler Supplee is a true inspiration,’’ said Commissioner Mike Pries, who oversees the county’s EMA. “Our county and our community are lucky to have Tyler looking out for us.’’
Moving quickly, Supplee got a passerby to call for help and then followed up with his own message to first responders to clarify the accident location and Madison’s condition. Madison was unconscious, and Supplee carefully helped her breath by keeping her head straight and in-line with her spine.
Supplee came upon the single-car accident around 3 p.m. and the vehicle’s engine was already cold and it is unclear when the accident happened.
“I feel good, this is what I was put on this earth to do,’’ said Supplee, a 2011 Juniata High School graduate who is interested in becoming a police officer. An emergency dispatcher for the past two years, he said he tries to make a difference every day.
“The approach I take in life is that you have that one chance to make a difference and you have to give it your all,’’ said Supplee, who lives in Thompsontown, Juniata County with his wife, Tylin and their 2-year-old daughter, Elliana. “If you miss that one chance, you may never get it back.’’
Board Chairman Jeff Haste said Supplee’s actions and the devotion he brings to his job make him a real hero.
“Like so many of our dispatcher and first responders, Tyler Supplee exemplifies what President Lincoln called, ‘the better angels of our nature,’” Haste said. “I feel privileged to honor Tyler today, and all of us are lucky to have many other dedicated professionals like him keeping us safe.’’
Madison Megonnell, who was 17 at the time of the accident and who plans to be a special education teacher, said he has no memory of the crash, but later found out she was choking on her blood before Supplee helped her.
“I feel really blessed,’’ said Madison, whose injuries included severe cuts to both legs, a concussion, damage to her spleen, and a broken elbow and hip. “The fact that Tyler was there and knew what to do and was in the right place at the right time, it’s all just amazing to me. I definitely wanted to see him honored and thank him again for saving my life.’’
Commissioner George P. Hartwick, III said Supplee underscores how much all of us owe first responders.
“Tyler Supplee shows that the real superheroes are our neighbors who never stop looking for ways to help,’’ Hartwick said. “Dauphin County’s residents are lucky to have Tyler watching out for them.’’
Madison’s father, Andy Megonnell, said he believes if Supplee didn’t arrive when he did, the outcome would have been far different.
“I said thank you to him, but that’s not near enough,’’ Andy Megonnell said. “They say it takes a village to raise a kid, but it takes a family, and between a blood family, a work family and an emergency response family, it kept Madi here.’’