911 dispatcher Natalie Rumsby sits at her desk in Victoria where on April 24 she answered a call from Carol Klock, whose husband Jack had a heart attack while in the shower. Rumsby coached Carol in CPR and Jack survived. SUBMITTED PHOTO

B.C. 911 call-taker gets rare glimpse of what happened after call

Call-taker coached Port Alberni woman in lifesaving CPR on her husband

When Natalie Rumsby answers a call as a 911 dispatcher, her job ends when first responders arrive on the scene, and the person who called 911 no longer needs her help.

It’s not often that she and her colleagues at the dispatch centre in Victoria hear the outcome of their calls.

That changed last week when a woman from Port Alberni shared her story about performing CPR on her husband thanks to the coaching of a calm 911 dispatcher.

READ: Vancouver Island wife brings husband back to life with CPR thanks to 911 dispatcher

Carol Klock related her story about calling 911 after her husband Jack suffered a heart attack while taking a shower one night in April.

Carol, who had never taken a CPR course, performed the life-saving technique on her husband for 10 minutes while waiting for paramedics to arrive. She said an anonymous dispatcher “literally taught me CPR over the phone” and she wanted to thank the woman for helping her.

A colleague of Rumsby’s who was familiar with the call read the story from the Alberni Valley News and let Rumsby know about it.

“Everything’s done over the phone and once you’re done, you’re on to the next job,” Rumsby said from Victoria. “It’s heartwarming to hear that he survived.”

She said she doesn’t often open up about her job. She compartmentalizes it, and when she leaves the dispatch centre for the day, she leaves the job behind.

It’s a survival tactic: “Right now, there’s a lot of compassion fatigue. It’s an exhausting job at the best of times,” she said, but added the opioid crisis has made it even tougher for 911 dispatchers and other first responders.

“There’s days here where we could have seven or eight call-takers and they’re all coaching CPR to people in different communities in B.C.

“As a call-taker/dispatcher, you are often tasked with talking to people on the worst day of their lives, in a moment of crisis, and you depend on them to be your ears, eyes and hands until help arrives,” Rumsby said.

“We are trained to help people not only cope with these situations, but in many situations, guide them to give life-saving first aid that they would otherwise not know how to do.”

While Carol Klock gives Rumsby all the credit with helping her stay calm, Rumsby said Carol’s ability to stay composed was the most important aspect of helping her husband.

“This woman performed those skills in the worst of circumstances, ” Rumsby wrote in a Facebook post about the story. “Thanks to her staying calm and composed and doing the most effective CPR possible, her husband is alive today.”

Rumsby hopes stories such as the Klocks will inspire people to learn how to perform CPR.

“I think it’s really important for everyone to take a CPR course, even a hands-only CPR,” she said. “If somebody knows CPR, the second they see someone collapse … it could mean life or death for that patient.”

READ: Where to learn CPR

Rumsby has nominated Carol Klock for a Vital Link Award with BC Ambulance Service, which recognizes the significant contributions made by citizens during medical emergencies. She hopes that if Carol is given an award, she will be able to meet the Klocks in person.

editor@albernivalleynews.com

Just Posted

High school presents Alice In Wonderland

Since January the students, costume designers, set designers and musicians worked on this performance.

Boxers represent Fernie in Lethbridge

Two boxers from Fernie Old School boxing will be representing their mountain… Continue reading

Mountain biker rescued

An injured mountain biker has been rescued by Fernie Search and Rescue.

Cameras to capture airborne dust

The District of Sparwood will install two cameras to document airborne dust caused by a nearby mine.

Homeless people living on ‘Surrey Strip’ move into modular housing

BC Housing says 160 homeless people are being moved into temporary Whalley suites from June 19 to 21

Port of Prince Rupert names Shaun Stevenson as new CEO

Stevenson has worked for the port for 21 years as vice president of trade development

Senate officially passes Canada’s marijuana legalization bill

Bill C-45 now moves to royal assent, which is the final step in the legislative process

Fake attempted abduction not funny to B.C. neighbourhood residents

Two teenage boys won’t face criminal charges after scaring girl

Mosquitoes out in full force already? Blame the weather

But a B.C. mosquito expert says the heat wave will help keep the pests at bay

Man pleads not guilty in 1987 slayings of B.C. couple

William Talbott of SeaTac was arraigned Tuesday in Snohomish County Superior Court

New GOP plan: Hold kids longer at border – but with parents

Move would ease rules that limit how much time minors can be held with their parents

Without a big data strategy, Canadians at risk of being ‘data cows’

Presentation said artificial intelligence could give Facebook and Amazon even more power

Five B.C. families stuck in Japan as Canada refuses visas for adopted babies

Lawyer points to change in American policy around adoptions from Japan

Most Read