Dispatcher recognized with Lifesaver award

Somerset County Dispatcher Jana Watson was awarded a Lifesaver Award from Fairfield Police Department Chief Thomas Gould at a meeting of the Somerset County Commissioners on April 20. The award recognized her exemplary performance in assisting a 9-1-1 caller through CPR instructions which ultimately saved the caller’s husband.Jana WatsonThumb

On February 6, 2016, Somerset Regional Communications Center received a 9-1-1 call from the Fairfield resident reporting that her husband had collapsed, was gasping for breath, and unresponsive. Dispatcher Watson immediately started the caller through a series of questions, using Emergency Medical Dispatch protocols, to determine the status of the patient. Once Dispatcher Watson determined that the husband was not breathing she began instructing the caller through CPR.

Chief Gould stated, “Dispatcher Watson remained calm during the incident. She gave clear, concise instructions to the caller and continued until CPR was taken over by first responders. Her actions saved a life that night. This is the sole reason the victim is here today.”

Present in the room for the recognition were Troy and Kathleen Hill, from Fairfield, the caller and her husband from that night. Hill is well on the road to recovery and expressed his gratitude for the assistance that Watson provided to his wife during the call.

The use of Emergency Medical Dispatch Protocols is mandatory for all Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) in Maine. There are currently almost 500 trained personnel working in Maine’s 26 PSAPs. These PSAPs processed a combined total of more than 580,000 9-1-1 calls in 2015. Every medical call is processed using this nationally-accepted and approved set of protocols, which includes instructions for administering CPR over the phone.

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