911 call bonds two Rock Co. women for life

Published: Nov. 28, 2018 at 10:53 AM CST
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A woman in Whitewater is training to become a 911 dispatcher all because a person in that same position helped save her life eight years ago.

Back in June of 2010, Angieleek Lipski was 17-years-old and living in Clinton in Rock County. She says her mother and stepfather got into heated argument and he grabbed a loaded gun.

“I know my mom and my stepdad at the time were arguing and fighting and he was really drunk,” said Lipski, now 26. “I yelled up to the stairs and I yelled to her ‘mom he’s going to get the gun!’ and he was standing there yelling and he had the craziest look in his eyes,”

Lipski grabbed her brother and they ran for their lives.

“I cry every time because it’s still like it was yesterday for me. I play it my head over and over again like it’s a movie,”

Lipski and her brother got into a car to escape as their stepfather opened fire. “While I was bent over pushing him (her brother) into the backseat, I heard gunfire,”

As they sped away unhurt, Lipski called 911.

“I remember being so scared because my mom was still at the house with him and I remember my first words was ‘he’s going to kill my mom,’ said Lipski.

The dispatcher on the other line, Krystynn Reinart, jumped into action – doing what she’s trained to do.

“It’s not every day that you get a call that your stepdad is shooting at you,” Reinart said recalling that day.

Reinart has taken thousands of calls in her 11 years as a Rock County dispatcher. She says that phone call is one of only a few that have really stuck with her through the years.

“We are their first call and that’s why we have to be calm and ask good questions to get what the officers and firefighters need to be safe, too,” she said. “I could tell things were frantic other end, that things were real,”

Reinart stayed on the line with Lipski, talking her through the worst day of her life. For the past eight years, Lipski has wondered about that voice on the other end of the phone. Now, she is putting a face and a name to the voice that helped save her.

“I had that sense of calmness, like a blanket over me, just by your voice,” Lipski told Reinart when they first met. “That really stuck with me and I still remember your voice to this day. If it wasn’t for you guys first answering the phone, then I don’t know where I would be,”

“I’m glad that you and your brother were safe that night,” Reinart told Lipski.

Now, Lipski is following in Reinart’s footsteps. She’s two months into her training to be a 911 dispatcher in Whitewater.

“I couldn’t think of a better way to give back and honor her than become a dispatcher myself and be able to do the same line of work and help the people that needed help just like I did,” said Lipski.

Lipski was inspired to become a dispatcher to help those in need. Because she knows firsthand what it means to hear a calming voice on the other end of the phone.

“Be who you needed when you were younger,” said Lipski “And I’ll be that person for someone else that day,”

Lipski’s mother was unhurt that night. Police arrested her stepfather after a brief chase in Clinton. He spent some time in jail and was eventually released. He currently lives out of state.