by Kerstin Lopez
The Fort Carson Emergency Dispatch Center aided in the delivery of a healthy baby boy on post, Sept. 27, before the responding emergency units arrived on the scene.
Public Safety Dispatcher Dahmari Codrington answered a frantic call from Dawn Lewis stating her friend, Victoria Hering, was in active labor on her front lawn and delivering the baby as the phone call took place. Emergency Medical Services were dispatched, and Codrington remained on the line with Lewis to calmly walk her through each step to ensure the mother and baby were taken care of until help arrived.
Jeffrey Craig, Emergency Dispatch Center supervisor, said there are very few 911 calls that have an outcome of joy and celebration, but through scripted protocols, the result was positive.
The 911 staff at the installation’s center is certified by the National Academy of Emergency Dispatch to provide medical prearrival instructions to callers on every imaginable medical emergency, and the center processes between 750-1,000 police calls per week and
65-120 fire and medical type calls per week, he said.
“Through scripted questions, they obtain the needed information to progress through the call in determining not only an appropriate response, but what to do for the patient until responding units arrive,” Craig said.
Craig said the cooperation of the public is imperative because most of the time people don’t understand why the dispatcher is asking so many questions – they just want help.
“We need to reassure the public that when 911 is activated, we send (help) immediately.
So they are en route while someone else is processing the event and then we update the units as to what the status of the patient is,” he said.
“It is intense, emotional and certainly not for the faint of heart,” Craig said. “These folks work and train tirelessly to ensure our community is cared for when an emergency arises.”
Codrington’s training has come into play several times during his year as a dispatcher at the Fort Carson center and though he may portray calmness during the situation, he said internally he experiences an adrenaline rush.
“This is the most fun you can have behind a keyboard,” Codrington said. “But I’m just doing my job … and I’m just happy there’s a healthy baby out there.”
Lewis said she was able to remain focused and calm while on the phone with Codrington, which kept the situation in control until the medical units arrived.
Hering said she’s grateful and appreciative for the professionalism and quick response of the medical personnel and the dispatch center during her delivery.