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

Nelson honours veterans 100 years after end of WWI

Several hundred people gathered at the cenotaph on Sunday

B.C. Legions in need of young members to continue aiding veterans into the future

Lest we forget what thousands of men and women did to fight for Canada’s freedoms – but without new membership, many Legion chapters face dwindling numbers

Nine-vehicle pileup closes Highway 3 near Castlegar

Two separate incidents on slushy highway; reports of injuries

UPDATE: Police seek witnesses in Castlegar road rampage

Lake Country man faces 13 charges, including robbery, dangerous driving, flight from police, assault with a weapon, theft, and drug charges.

RDCK removes conditions from Kalesnikoff office project

Kalesnikoff says it is still planning to move ahead with new office building project

VIDEO: Marvel Comics’ Stan Lee dies

Marvel co-creator was well-known for making cameo apperances in superhero movies

Lack of public response threatens B.C. referendum credibility

Of the few who have voted, poll finds most rejected proportional representation

Tentative deal reached in NHL concussion lawsuit

More than 100 former players accused the league of failing to better prevent head trauma

Grim search for more fire victims; 31 dead across California

More than 8,000 firefighters battled wildfires that scorched at least 1,040 square kilometres

Politicians need to do better on social media, Trudeau says

Prime minister suggests at conference in Paris some are trying to use technology to polarize voters

Wally Buono exits CFL, stinging from painful playoff loss

B.C. Lions lost the Eastern semifinal to the Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Sunday, 48-8

Pot company hopes to replace jobs lost in mill closure in B.C. town

About 200 workers lost their jobs when the Tolko sawmill in Merritt shuttered in 2016

Funding announcement promises to drive business innovation in B.C.

Minister is scheduled to make the announcement at the Penticton campus of Okanagan College

Ticats destroy Lions 48-8 in CFL East Division semifinal

Wally Buono’s last game as B.C. coach ends in disappointment

Most Read