When 74-year-old Grace Rogers woke to alarms blaring and lights flashing at a relative’s home in Waterford last month, she panicked. But employees of the home security company took control of the situation, preventing a possible tragedy.
On Thursday Rogers met with those employees and the local firefighters they called to say thank you.
On Oct. 6, Rogers was asleep on a couch when she awoke to the ADT alarm system telling her to get out of the house. She was home alone and panicked.
"I just went blank. I didn’t think of 911 at all," said Grace Rogers, who lives in Rhode Island.
Thankfully ADT employees, though 1,700 miles away in Texas, knew exactly what to do. ADT Emergency Dispatch Operator Tonya Wilson called for help while her coworker Sandra Johnson made contact with the homeowner, Rogers’ son-in-law Gregory Massad, who was 45 minutes away at a soccer game.
"There was so much noise and commotion in the stands I didn’t feel my phone vibrate or ring," Massad said.
The Goshen Fire Department rushed to the scene and traced the smoke that set off the system to a dehumidifier in the basement. They also rescued the family guinea pig, Wizma.
Rogers said had it not been for the quick action of those two women, things could have been much worse. On Thursday the family met with the dispatchers and firefighters at a ceremony to honor their life-saving work.
"The feeling that I did actually get to save someone’s life. I did do my job. And then also knowing that it could be anyone. It could have been my family," Sandra Johnson said.
Johnson and Wilson, along with the two men who sold and installed the system, received ADT’s highest honor – the Life Saver Award. ADT also presented the Goshen Fire Department with a $5,000 check.
For the family, this was a chance to say "thank you."
"I felt a connection," Rogers said.
Goshen Fire Chief Todd Patton says he was surprised by the check and said his firefighters take care of their neighbors. The department plans to put the money toward equipment.
He also issued a reminder to be aware of fireplaces, lit candles and extension cords, especially during the holiday season.