Tuesday, April 17, 2012

The Power of a Voice

9-1-1 Dispatchers save lives more often than you’d realize, using only the power of their voices. 

Dispatchers can’t physically guide a caller’s hands to do the rescue work. They do it all from miles away over a phone line. 

Here is one of our recent stories....

In March 2012, Dispatcher Kerrie Blanton, who has been dispatching for over 15 years, took a 9-1-1 call about a 23 year old, who was unconscious and not breathing.

In the blink of an eye, Kerrie dispatched the proper Fire / Emergency Medical Services to the patient’s location.

Then for 6 and a half minutes, while help was on its way to the patient’s location, Dispatcher Kerrie calmly talked the caller through all instructions to help save the patient’s life. She instructed the caller on clearing the patient’s airway. Kerrie described how to give rescue breaths and see if they were working. When that didn’t bring the patient back to regular breathing, Kerrie talked the caller through starting chest compressions on the patient.

Words alone don’t do the trick.

As a veteran dispatcher, Kerrie also knows that she has to be calm and in control, because the caller is not. Throughout the call, Kerrie focused the caller on her questions and instructions. Kerrie’s voice and tone were soothing, confident and compassionate. She slowed her voice down so the caller wouldn’t get muddled or panicked. Right before the ambulance arrived, the patient regained consciousness and began breathing again.

So with only the power of her voice, Kerrie put her professionalism and knowledge into action to make a life-saving difference to one patient and one family.

Kerrie was recognized this week here at CRESA as she received the "Life-Saving" Award for her response to this 9-1-1 call.  This award recognizes the important effort of our staff.  Great job, Kerrie!

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