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Home > Topics > Pediatric Care
February 20, 2014

Dispatcher talks family through CPR to save choking baby

He asked them to do two small breaths and continue chest compressions, then heard a minor cry

By Amy Anthony
Cape Cod Times

SOUTH YARMOUTH, Mass. — A cry was a blessing Tuesday morning after Yarmouth Fire Department dispatcher Rachelle Jessop assisted in reviving a 3-month-old baby who had stopped breathing.

Around 9:30 a.m., a call came in from a home where the boy had choked and was turning blue, said Jessop, who answered the call. The baby was being fed at the time.

Within about 20 seconds, Jessop had dispatched an ambulance to the home, said Yarmouth acting Deputy Fire Chief Jon Sawyer.

Meanwhile, Jessop stayed on the line and provided instructions for performing CPR.

"When a baby chokes, you have to do chest compressions," Jessop said. "I (then) asked them to do two small breaths and continue the chest compressions."

After a couple of minutes, the baby made "minor cries," Jessop said.

Jessop told the family they "did a great job."

The call lasted four minutes and 12 seconds, the time the ambulance took to arrive at the home. The baby was taken to Cape Cod Hospital and is doing well, Sawyer said Tuesday night.

"The way (Jessop) handled this call was phenomenal," Sawyer said. "There was no delay."

Jessop said she was just doing her job. "If I get lucky and it works out, then great," she said.

Jessop is a certified emergency medical dispatcher, as are the rest of the department dispatchers and any Yarmouth firefighter who answers emergency calls, Sawyer said.

Certified dispatchers can use state-approved guidelines to provide a caller with instructions for assisting a patient until an ambulance arrives, Sawyer said.

"These calls can really shake you up," said Sawyer, who listened to the recording of the 911 call. "That's such a blessing to hear the baby crying.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service
"It's a happy ending."

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