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

City of Victoria responds to blind community’s B.C. Human Rights Tribunal case

The Canadian Federation of the Blind says bike lanes can be dangerous

Window smashed, car robbed in daylight

Four incidents make OB Police Department media report

Victoria no longer interested in hosting a downtown casino

Mayor puts forward letter that retracts interest in hosting a casino

Claremont brings timeless message to stage with It’s a Wonderful Life

Claremont secondary stages the holiday classic It’s a Wonderful Life this week.… Continue reading

‘Abhorrent’ condition of autistic B.C. boy shows flaws in care system: report

‘Charlie’ was underweight and ‘covered in feces’ when he was removed from his mom’s care

Military closes book on oft-criticized support unit for ill, injured troops

The transition unit will provide support and services to military members struggling with physical and mental injuries so they can return to work.

Vancouver Canucks rookie Elias Pettersson named NHL’s first star of the week

Canucks centre scored two goals and six assists in three games

Protester says Canada doing U.S. ‘dirty work’ outside Huawei exec’s bail hearing

The U.S. wants to extradite Meng to face fraud allegations after Canada arrested the high-profile technology executive.

Union says arrows and gasoline tossed at striking Comox Valley assisted living workers

BCGEU president Stephanie Smith says arrows and gasoline were thrown at the picketers early in the week

Break-in at home of detained Chinese Huawei executive

Meng Wanzhou was detained in Vancouver on America’s request

Natural gas rates will go up in B.C. on Jan. 1

Regions could pay up to $68 more

Top House Dems raise prospect of impeachment, jail for Trump

It could be an “impeachable offense” if it’s proven that President Donald Trump directed illegal hush-money payments to women during the 2016 campaign.

Most Read