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911 dispatcher honored for saving overdose patient

Barbara Harshman walked a caller through the process of what to do when an overdose victim began to turn blue

By EMS1 Staff

CHAMBERSBURG, Pa. — A 911 dispatcher received a state EMS award for helping a caller save an overdose victim.

Public Opinion reported that a person called 911 seeking help for someone suffering a drug overdose. The caller was on the way to the hospital, but when the victim started turning blue, veteran dispatcher and former EMT Barbara Harshman told the caller to pull over and walked the caller through the process of helping the victim before an ambulance arrived.

Franklin County Commissioners said Harshman’s quick thinking and knowledge gave the victim “the best chance at survival.”

Harshman was awarded the Pennsylvania EMS Communications Award and was honored at the 40th annual PA State EMS Conference, along with the other recipients.

“Every day, our first responders put their own lives on the line to make sure that a patient in crisis gets the emergency medical-care they need to survive,” Acting Health Secretary and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine said. “These award recipients stand out because they have gone above and beyond the call of duty. The Wolf Administration is committed to helping emergency medical-services staff, and all first responders, continue to have the resources and funding they need to protect Pennsylvanians.”

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