This was a job for mom.
Last week, a Washington 911 dispatcher responded to a stranded kayaker's call by sending her own mother to the rescue.
Raedyn Grasseth, dispatcher and spokeswoman for the sheriff's office, received a call on Sunday afternoon from a 45-year-old boater whose kayak had sank near a jetty in the Columbia River.
"Jetties are very dangerous," Grasseth told Washington's Daily News on Monday. "It sounds like her kayak just got sucked toward the jetty and went down."
The woman climbed onto a piling of logs while her only companion went to fetch help.
When the news reached the dispatcher, Grasseth put in a call for an officer and called her family members, who live nearby and could likely beat police to the scene, the Daily News reported.
“I knew they could be there within five to 10 minutes,” Grasseth told the Daily News.
Cindy Faubion, Grasseth's mother and an experienced kayaker, quickly paddled to the piling with a kayak and a skiff. She was able to rescue the woman, who was shaken up but didn't need medical attention.
“She’s lucky she’s alive, plain and simple,” Grasseth told the paper.
Quick-thinking public safety officials like Grasseth are real life-savers. Just last month, an off-duty cop jumped into the icy Des Plaines river to save a 7-year-old boy.
A woman and her son were also rescued from the River Thames earlier this year by efficient responders who arrived just minutes after a call for help.
Also on HuffPost:
The Holocaust saw the mass murder of approximately 6 million European Jews during World War II. At the time, Andree was in her 20s. She was one of many brave women who risked death to save the lives of Jewish children by hiding them. "When you are in your 20s, you're not afraid," she said. "I had the feeling that I was doing something useful, and it's very helpful to know in life that you are doing something useful."
Jan Karel Wijnbergen
Jan Karel Wijnbergen was just 14 when he was asked to join the Resistance movement against the Nazis. Like Andree, he -- then barely older than a child himself -- risked everything to save the lives of Jewish children. Wijnbergen remembers picking up children in and outside of Amsterdam and traveling with them by train to other -- presumably safer -- locations.
Borivoje and Ljubinka
In July of 1995, Serb troops and paramilitaries led by Ratko Mladic descended upon the village of Srebrenica, systematically killing, raping and deporting thousands of Muslims. Borivoje and Ljubinka had always lived in harmony with their Muslim neighbors. Putting their safety at risk, the couple welcomed a fleeing Muslim man and his family into their home -- giving them a room to take refuge in. Borivoje and Ljubinka then helped the man, his wife and their three children escape through their territory to Sarajevo.
Though she knew that her Serbian neighbor was spying on her, Mina risked her own safety, as well as that of her family, to hide and take care of a badly wounded Muslim man who had escaped execution. Mina, whose four children were also in her care, said that saving the man's life had been an obvious choice. "Why did I save him? I knew that the same fate could happen to my children, to my sons, and it was totally normal to help a man in trouble. I didn't separate him from my own children," she said.
In 1994, after the death of Rwandan President Habyarimana, Hutu military and militia groups began rounding up and killing all Tutsis they could capture. When the Rwandan genocide began in 1994, Silas was a Hutu soldier in the army. However, as he watched scores of Tutsis being murdered, he found himself unable to understand the violence and the butchery. "[I] did not quite understand how these innocent people could be killed with no apparent reason," he said. Risking his life, Silas began smuggling Tutsis over the border to Burundi. He rescued more than 50 people before his fellow soldiers caught on, and he, too, had to flee for his life.
"It is true cowardice to not do anything for someone dying right in your sight," said Kamegeri Augustin. Despite the risk to his life, Augustin sheltered a Tutsi woman whose family had been brutally murdered. He sent her -- along with other Tutsis -- to live in a small forest of bee trees that their aggressors were too afraid to enter.
The Cambodian genocide of 1975-1979, in which approximately 1.7 million people lost their lives under the Khmer Rouge regime, was one of the worst human tragedies of the last century. Ngen Ngon risked his own life to help many of his fellow Cambodians escape torture and death. Ngen Ngon remembers going to a Buddhist temple and helping the people detained there. "I broke the door of the temple to release the women. Some of them could not jump over the fence of the pagoda because they were exhausted. But I helped them run away," he said.
A soldier before the Khmer Rouge began in Cambodia, Duch Keam was part of a band of resistance fighters who helped over 700 hundred people escape to Vietnam through a treacherous jungle. An expert at mine clearance, Keam risked his life time and again to ensure safe passage for his fleeing countrymen.