We were at the dispatch center to do a story about how specially trained our dispatchers are. And our cameras were rolling when the call came in. It was a perfect example of how Lubbock 9-1-1 dispatchers are specially trained to handle these types of situations.
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"Ma'am, I need you to calm down okay," says Dispatcher Darrell Scroggs took the call from a frantic woman Tuesday morning.
A Possible cardiac arrest on a child. After finding out the location, dispatchers like Darrell are certified to give special medical instructions right over the phone. "I started to tell the family how to do CPR," says Darrell.
Scroggs gives careful instruction to the person on the line. "Blow two small breaths into its lungs and come back to the phone and tell me if you saw the chest rise, okay?" Darrell asked the caller.
Darrell has the challenging job of keeping the caller calm. "I need you to do 5 chest compressions," says Darrell.
While giving CPR instructions to someone who's performing it for the very first time in a life or death situation. "I need you to keep doing it. I need you to keep doing it. We have 2 ambulances on the way, okay" says Darrell.
Ambulances and AeroCare race to the scene as Darrell continues to instruct the caller on CPR. "I need you to tell me if anything changes okay?" says Darrell.
He says in a situation like this, every second counts. And beginning CPR right away is crucial in saving the life of the patient. "One of the best ways CPR works is to start it as soon as possible. If they wait until an ambulance gets there to start your chances of survival go way down."
"In my opinion I think it does save lives the pre-arrival instructions are guidelines that are set up for that reason and that reason only," says Ben Maldonado, Dispatcher Trainer for Lubbock EMS.
Lubbock is one of few cities in Texas where each one of our dispatchers is also certified EMT. That means they go through months of training to be qualified to give medical help right over the phone. They are trained to give instruction on everything from CPR to delivering babies even administering medications, and are re-certified every two years.