Dispatchers rarely get the attention they deserve as a key cog in the race to save lives — but two dispatchers on opposite sides of the U.S. did some great work on Christmas Day to help save two young lives, keeping calm and relaying key CPR instructions to make a difference. Kudos on an amazing job well done! Their stories are below.
By K.C. Myers, Cape Cod Times, Hyannis, Mass.
MARSTONS MILLS, MA — A Barnstable police officer’s calm instructions over the phone helped revive a 9-week-old baby who was choking on Christmas day.
Officer Dennis Stampfl answered a 911 call from a woman at 193 Mockingbird Lane on Christmas afternoon that a 9-week old baby had stopped breathing and was blue in the face, said Sgt. Sean Sweeney.
In the 911 tape, the panicked woman describes how the baby, whose names is Brandon, had been eating when he vomited and then choked. The woman who called 911 was breathing hard out of fear but she was able to communicate Stampfl’s precise instructions to Jonathan Brooks, Brandon’s father.
Stampfl told them to turn the baby over, rest him facedown on Brooks’ forearm with his face near his father’s hand, and give him five back blows between the shoulder blades.
After the father did a few series of back blows, a baby’s cries could be heard in the background on the 911 tape.
“That is the thing you want to hear,” Stampfl told the woman.
An ambulance crew took Brandon to Cape Cod Hospital where Brandon stayed overnight for treatment for an acid reflux condition, his mother, Samantha D’Elia, said Thursday.
D’Elia said she also administered CPR to her baby.
Christmas could have been better, D’Elia admitted, “but the outcome was alright.”
The Barnstable police department recently received a $126,121 grant from the state Executive Office of Public Safety and Security to train and update training for 82 telecommunicators, including dispatchers, and 10 new police officers in emergency medical dispatch.
Everyone currently assigned to the communications desk has had the training, Sweeney said.
(c)2013 the Cape Cod Times (Hyannis, Mass.). Visit the Cape Cod Times (Hyannis, Mass.) at www.capecodonline.com
Four-Year-Old Rescued After Found Floating in Pool
By Rick Hurd, Contra Costa Times
Dec. 26 — CLAYTON, CA — Firefighters and paramedics were optimistic that a 4-year-old boy will recover fully after family member helped to rescue him from drowning in a backyard pool on Christmas by listening to CPR instructions from a dispatcher.
Dispatchers received calls from the family at the home on Inverness Way around 7:12 p.m. after they found the boy floating and unconscious, Contra Costa Fire Protection District spokesman Kent Kirby said. They pulled him and took step-by-step CPR instructions from a dispatcher over the phone, he said.
Crews arrived at the home almost immediately. The home is only three miles from Station 11 on Center Street, where the responding crews are based.
The boy regained some level of consciousness by the time crews arrived but still was in an altered state and having a hard time breathing, Kirby said. He was taken in an ambulance to John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek.
An update on the boy’s condition was not available Thursday.
“Extremely lucky,” Kirby said. “It was a close call. But the crews were optimistic.”
The station in Clayton was shuttered earlier this year, but Kirby said the district has kept it staffed from 2-8 p.m. six days a week, with Sunday the exception.
(c)2013 the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.) Visit the Contra Costa Times (Walnut Creek, Calif.) at www.contracostatimes.com