Dispatcher May Never Know What Happens Once they Hang up
Published May 17th, 2012
By: Yaremi Farinas
All those people who called 9-1-1 to report that massive chain reaction crash on I-75 in January weren't just talking to "dispatchers."
They were talking to someone who could provide medical guidance for people who are hurt.
In what may be the worst time of your life, the person on the other end of the phone line may make the difference between life and death. Dispatchers handle the beginning of the emergency,but usually don't know the outcome of the emergency.
"911...What's the address of the emergency," said Lindsey Hilton who is an Alachua County dispatcher.
Everyday dispatchers answer a wide range of calls.
From minor problems to life threatening situations.
"OK, tell me exactly what happened," said Hilton.
They are usually the first people you speak to when you have an emergency.
They're also the first ones to give you medical attention. It just happens to be over the phone.
"I am going to tell you how to stop the bleeding. Listen carefully to make sure we do it right," said Hilton.
Hilton uses the emergency medical dispatcher reference system which helps her give life saving directions.
"Helps us to explain to people to be my hands for me. I need you to do this for me," said Hilton.
She told us a couple weeks ago a man called saying his father wouldn't wake up and he was not breathing.
"He actually remained very very calm through the call, I remember and I had to give him CPR instructions until the paramedics could get on scene and help him," said Hilton.
Jim Lanier is the technical services division manager at the Sheriff's Office. He said the time between the call for help and the arrival of paramedics is crucial for the victim.
"We have kept the the blood circulating and kept the patient viable. In other words it gives ems some more to work with. In other words it gives the patient a better chance of survival," said Lanier.
How the crisis finally plays out is something Hilton will most likely never know, once she hangs up that 911 call.
"We want to know if we helped that person or what happened to you," said Hilton.
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