By Kevin Deutsch
Audio of a dramatic 911 call released by police Friday chronicles how a rookie dispatcher helped saved the life of a non-responsive child in Coral Springs.
“My son is on the floor; he’s not responsive!” the child’s desperate-sounding mother said in a May 22 emergency call.
The dispatcher, identified by police only by her first name, Emilie, talked the mother through a full round of CPR chest compressions, calmly counting off each pump.
“What should I do?” the mother pleaded.
“Push down hard and fast at least two inches in-depth,” said Emilie, an emergency communications trainee in the city’s dispatcher training academy since March. “Keep doing that between each pump. We’re going to do that for 100 compressions per minute.
“I’m going to count to 30, OK?…one, two, three…”
“He’s up; he’s taking a breath!” the mother said after finishing the compressions.
Coral Springs Police released the audio and an accompanying interview with Emilie as part of their effort to recruit new emergency dispatchers.
Emilie said she received extensive medical training in the academy, performed CPR techniques on dummies, and practiced how to talk civilian rescuers through CPR on emergency calls.
“I definitely wasn’t expecting one of my first 911 calls to be a CPR call, but having the training definitely helped for me to turn straight to my [instructions] and start the procedure,” she said.
“I know I’m so new to this,” Emilie added. “But as soon as I was on the floor and I started taking phone calls, I just kept wanting to take more phone calls, and I kept wanting to help people any way that I could.”
Deputy Chief Shawn Backer of the police department’s administrative division called Emilie’s work “absolutely amazing.”
“To be able to keep that calm when somebody’s life is in the balance proves that she’s built for this kind of job,” said Backer.
“Her performance speaks volumes to the quality of our training, the quality of our trainers, and the quality of the people we’re hiring,” he added.
People interested in becoming Coral Springs emergency dispatchers can learn more about the position or apply via the job listing.
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- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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