A dispatcher sends an ambulance to a lake for a drowning victim, fearing that the victim might be her brother.
When a dispatcher sent emergency responders to Swan Lake on Oxford on Saturday to help a drowning man, she had a bad feeling.
It turns out that the man in distress was her brother.
Connecticut State Police said Austin Brooks, 24, fell out of his fishing boat after apparently suffering a seizure. EMTs were unable to revive him.
The Northwest Connecticut Public Safety Communication Center, where Austin Brooks’ sister, April Brooks, works, took the 911 call.
On Saturday afternoon, April Brooks was working alongside another dispatcher when they received the distress call.
She didn’t know it then, but April Brooks would be dispatching an ambulance to her brother.
“She was suspicious that it was her brother. She knew that he had a seizure disorder and she knew that he was fishing that day,” said Susan Webster, executive director of the Northwest Connecticut Public Safety Communication Center.
April Brooks’ worst fears were confirmed a few moments after that.
“She received a phone call from someone that was at the scene that told her it was her brother,” Webster said.
April Brooks was too distraught to speak with NBC Connecticut.
Austen Davelar, who said he knew Austin Brooks, said it’s a shame the 24-year-old didn’t make it because he recently saved someone from drowning in the lake.
“He was definitely a brave kid, and he would help someone out if he could,” Davelar said.
Davelar said people in the Oxford neighborhood are reeling from what happened.
“I'm shaken up by it. … I've lived here my whole life and whenever a tragedy like that happens out here … it … shakes up everybody,” Davelar said.
“It's a real tragedy that something like that happened to him,” Davelar said.
If you’d like to help the Brooks family, a fund has been set up to aid with funeral expenses.
Brooks Family Fund
Waterbury Firefighters Federal Credit Union
601 Watertown Ave.
Waterbury, CT 06708