Family surprises dispatcher who saved dad’s life

Two years after Stephanie Cifuentes helped save a man by giving CPR instructions, the family surprised her by coming to say “thank you”

By EMS1 Staff

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — A dispatcher who helped save a man by giving CPR instructions over the phone was surprised by the family two years later.

KGET reported that dispatcher Stephanie Cifuentes answered Kishna Nored’s 2016 call about her husband Stephen, who had suffered cardiac arrest.

Cifuentes, who is also a certified training officer at the Bakersfield Fire Department, guided Kishna through CPR.

"I need you to lay him flat on his back and remove any pillows," said in the call. "We're going to help him breathe a little easier. I need you to pump the chest at least twice per second and at least two inches deep. Let the chest come all the way up between pumps. We're going to do this 600 times or until help can take over. I want you to count out loud so that I can count with you. 1, 2 3,4, 1, 2, 3, 4!"

Stephen survived, and the family surprised Cifuentes two years later by paying a visit to the dispatch center to say “thank you.”

Cifuentes said she thought she "would be giving a tour of the communications center” before she learned she had helped save the life of one of the visitors.

"Two years ago, you took a call," Kishna said to Cifuentes. "He had gone into cardiac arrest. You coached me through, you calmed me down. You taught me over the phone how to give CPR. He wasn't expected to live. He was pulled off life support, [and] expected to die. Speaking to the doctors, because of you and the training you gave me over the phone allowed me to save him."

Cifuentes was later asked if she thought she was a hero, but she said she was just doing her job.

"I wouldn't say I'm a hero," she said. "I just come in and do my job, and I didn't do anything that anyone in here wouldn't have done."

The Noreds disagreed.

"We will never be able to repay you. Ever," Kishna said.


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