Lynchburg dispatcher-in-training saves a life by coaching caller to resuscitate patient

Lynchburg & Central Virginia News

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WFXR) — A 20-year-old dispatcher-trainee in Lynchburg is being recognized for her role in a life-saving phone call.

The dispatcher-in-training was able to coach someone on the other end of the line into resuscitating a patient before emergency crews arrived.

Due to dispatch protocols, WFXR News is not allowed to release her full name, but her co-workers call her Joyce.

She’s been training for about six months and just started answering calls on her own in August at the Lynchburg Department of Emergency Services.

Joyce couldn’t go into detail about the incident, but says she took a call from a person who said someone they were with was not able to breathe.

She instructed the person on the other end of the line how to give mouth-to-mouth resuscitation for about five minutes until paramedics came to transport them to the hospital.

(Photo: Amanda Lee/WFXR News)

“You are really their only source of help until the paramedics are able to get there safely,” Joyce said. “I told them that it was going to be okay and that they just needed to do what I was telling them to do and that help was going to be there as soon as possible.”

While on the phone Joyce said, “Two quick breaths, make sure their chest rises with is and then you’ll go back to the compressions because the compressions are the most important part.”

Personnel Training Supervisor Pam Watson says their staff saves a few lives every year.

“We get a lot of calls on people having heart attacks or choking or overdoses and different things like that,” said Watson.

The dispatchers who have saved lives in the past have lots of experience. Meanwhile, Joyce is still training.

“I don’t remember this ever happening before so this is really to be celebrated,” said Watson.

(Photo: Amanda Lee/WFXR News)

Watson says dispatchers who handle a “save” get their name added to the “Tree of Life,” an honorary plaque posted on a wall in the front of the building for all to see. They also receive a pin to add to their accomplishments.

At just 20-years-old, Joyce has already finished college and is currently attending graduate school, studying to be a forensic psychologist.

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