DEFUNIAK SPRINGS, Fla. (WMBB) — A superstar at the Walton County Sheriff’s Office. Heather Mayo received an award from the RapidDeploy CEO in a surprise meeting at the office.

Mayo is credited with helping a wife recover her husband in distress while stranded in Choctawhatchee Bay.  

With gaining access to the woman’s cellphone and binging able to track the call, the sheriff’s office dispatch team safely instructed her on how to navigate the boat and rescue the man. 

The dispatcher said the husband is still alive today, thanks to getting a truly firsthand look at the scene. 

“I needed to see. Is that what you’re doing? Do you have the key or in all the way is because she was stressed out and a lot of times that whenever we panic, we’re not thinking clearly,” said communications training officer Heather Mayo. “It is such a blessing, but the biggest part was that I was able to pinpoint exactly where he was whenever she dialed 911.”

Mayo said RapidDeploy is the real hero in making their job more effective for Walton County Residents.  

“I was able to use the app and we were able to save someone’s life. To me, even if it’s just one life, that’s all that matters, you know, because their life matters. So that’s why I do what I do,” said Mayo. 

RapidDeploy is a system that will allow dispatchers to see video from a caller’s cellphone, with permission, in order to better assist in a crisis.  

Co-founder and CEO Steven Ruacher said he created the technology after losing his brother out to sea off the African coast in 2006.  

“We’ve got Uber, and being able to order a pizza on the beach and drop it right here and 911 has struggled to have similar kind of technology. So we’re just closing that gap,” Steven Raucher, RapidDeploy CEO.

It can also be used in active shooter situations and medical emergencies before first responders arrive.  

RapidDeploy integrated into Walton County Sheriff’s Office in 2021.  It is growing to more departments in Florida this year, as well as 20 states in the country.  

Mayo said she plans to proudly display the award on her mantle at home.