SKOWHEGAN — As a Massachusetts woman lay critically injured in a snowmobile accident near Rockwood in March 2012, three dispatchers at the Somerset County Regional Communications Center were on the phone, trying to save her life.

“It was kind of a three-center ordeal,” Somerset County Communications Director Michael Smith said Tuesday. “The call went in originally to the Department of Public Safety in Augusta. I had a dispatcher who stayed on the phone with Augusta and one who stayed on the phone with LifeFlight and another who stayed on the radio with Jackman fire and rescue.”

The woman, Bonnie Sancomb, of Hopkinton, Mass., survived.

The three local dispatchers — Stephen Crowe, Shane Hunt and Margaret Parady — are being honored Wednesday by Somerset County commissioners for their work saving the woman’s life.

The three dispatchers, along with LifeFlight dispatcher Jon Roebuck in Bangor and dispatchers Jessica Mihalik, Jennifer Berube, Joanna Kenefick, Susan Poulin and Daren Curtis in Augusta, received awards last week from the Maine chapter of the National Emergency Number Association.

They were cited for their speed in helping determine Sancomb’s location for rescuers and getting them started quickly.

The group was given the Critical Incident of the Year Award.

Smith said he wanted his dispatchers honored locally, too.

The accident was reported via 911 at 10:38 a.m. March 8, 2012, from a remote area north of Rockwood.

Sancomb was lying on her back in the snow about 45 feet from the trail, according to Maine Public Safety Dispatch Supervisor Chad Labree.

“She had missed a corner, the same corner that snuck up on her the day before, but that was not the worst part of her situation,” Labree said in a release. “Her 500-pound snow sled had landed directly on her chest and abdomen and she could not push it off, however this still was not her biggest problem.”

Labree said the track of the snowmobile had continued to turn, slowly tearing Sancomb’s clothing, and eventually her skin.

Sancomb told rescuers later that she heard the rest of her party drive by, unable to see her from the trail.

Her friends circled back and found her 15 minutes later with massive injuries to her chest and abdomen.

“Bonnie literally had only a few minutes left when LifeFlight arrived,” Labree said. “Without the dedicated personnel working collaboratively to figure out where she was and getting resources moving, Bonnie would not have survived.”

Doug Harlow — 612-2367
[email protected]

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.


  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.