WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Dispatchers take calls for help all of the time, but one worker went above and beyond the call of duty and helped fix an emergency without the help of first responders.
It’s every new parent’s worst nightmare: their baby stops breathing — but a terrified call to 911 ends with the dispatcher being called a hero.
Brunswick County telecommunicator Jonathan Talley had just clocked in when the call came through. The mother told him her baby had stopped breathing while asleep in its crib.
“It was my understanding that the child had on an Owlet, which is a monitor for the child,” said Talley. “[The mother] was awakened by the Owlet going off and noticed the child wasn’t breathing.”
The infant couldn’t wait for EMS to show up if it was going to survive.
“Through the phone, I could hear the child making like almost a gaspy, guppy breathing sound, which as an EMD certified person, I know that is ineffective breathing,” said Talley.
That’s when Talley jumped into action and explained what the parents needed to do to save their child’s life.
“We would go through and start mouth-to-mouth, which is the two puffs for an infant and then the 30 compressions.”
Moments later, he heard the sound of hope. The baby was crying.
“When the baby started crying, we stopped the CPR. The father said ‘that’s my boy, that’s my boy.’ Of course, tears were just streaming down my eyes.”
Cheers erupted on Talley’s end of the call. Other dispatchers that overheard the situation had been silently listening in, rooting for the infant to pull through.
“After it was all said and done, one of my coworkers came up there and gave me a hug,” said Talley. “She said ‘you did a great job, you did a great job.’”
Even after that recognition, Talley’s life-saving actions didn’t go unnoticed.
“I got an award from the sheriff’s office. It was the Lifesaving Award. I also went to the Brunswick County Chamber of Commerce and won the First Responder of the Year Award for that call as well.”
Despite the recognition, Talley stays humble. He says it takes those on the other side of the phone to make the difference.
“I was here as [their] backbone to guide [them] through it, but ultimately the father was the one who saved the child’s life.”