Julie Daniels, an emergency telecommunicator with the Shawnee Police Department, was recently recognized by the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch™ (IAED®) for her exemplary efforts in responding to a 911 call.
The IAED reports it has awarded Daniels with the Call of the Week, which highlights dispatchers from around the world who correctly follow established protocol and provide exemplary customer service to callers and patients with urgent needs.
Daniels took a call from a woman who reported that her husband had collapsed and was not breathing. Daniels immediately dispatched the Shawnee Fire Department and REACT Emergency Medical Service to the scene. IAED reports Daniels continued to obtain more information about the patient as she managed radio channels and communicated updates to the responders.
The urgency of the call intensified when Daniels learned that the patient’s heart had stopped. Using the Medical Priority Dispatch System™ (MPDS®) and her extensive training, she walked the woman through CPR instructions. Responders arrived after seven minutes of the woman doing chest compressions. They found that the man had suffered cardiac arrest and was in a deadly cardiac rhythm. Responders defibrillated him eight times and continued CPR.
During the call, the patient’s wife was highly emotional, but Daniels used calming techniques and excellent customer service to provide the necessary instructions and gather vital information.
“The caller was frustrated at first, as most callers are due to them calling us on the worst day of their life,” Daniels said. “I just reassured her that help was on the way. I also find saying the caller's name helps get their attention so you can gather information needed to help the patient. She was ready to listen to answer my questions, so the medics knew how to treat him when they arrived.”
Daniels said the wife wasn’t sure at first whether she could do CPR. However, Daniels gave her the confidence she needed to help save her husband.
Daniels later learned the patient made a full recovery and was released from the hospital. Knowing that she can play a key role in saving lives is a big reason why she enjoys being an emergency dispatcher.
“I was relieved to see that he was alive and well,” she said. “It makes you feel good in what you do and that you can make a difference in other's lives. It's very satisfying to do this job at times, and it's times like these that make it worth it to do it every day. There's bad that comes with it too, but in times like these the good definitely outweighs the bad.”
What made the call even more special was that it occurred on the same day as another memorable occasion.
“This day now has two special meanings to me, as it's my daughter’s birthday, and I helped save a life,” she said.
Daniels’ manager, Christina Brown, praised her for a job well done.
“Ms. Daniels played a significant role in the first few minutes of this medical emergency, as she assisted the caller to maintain an airway and heart rhythm through CPR instructions,” Brown said. “She maintained a calm, professional demeanor throughout the call.”
Daniels’ efforts in this call exemplify the work that emergency dispatchers everywhere do each day.
“We are your first point of contact and that calm voice to help you on the worst day of your life,” she said. “We oftentimes don't know the outcome of our calls at the end of our shift. We take on a lot mentally throughout our career in just answering the phone, but we choose to do so because we want to help the citizens that we serve daily.
By receiving Call of the Week recognition, the IAED highlighted Daniels on its social media pages. She also received a certificate and was entered in a drawing for a $100 prize.
About the IAED
The IAED is the world’s foremost standard-setting and certification organization for emergency communications with over 69,000 members in 54 countries. More than 4,000 communication centers in 25 languages employ IAED’s protocols and training in medical, fire, and police dispatching.