STRATFORD, Conn. – April is National 911 Education Month, and the National 911 Education Coalition is encouraging residents to learn the do's and dont's when it comes to taking instructions from a 911 operator on providing care, according to J.P. Sredzinski, Stratford's Emergency Medical Communications supervisor.
Choking: The call taker will tell the caller to get the phone next to the patient, put their arms around their waist, make a fist and in one quick motion, jerk hard up into the stomach. Many will recognize this as a modified version of the Heimlich Maneuver, which is trained in any First Aid classes regularly.
Pregnancy: The general rule of the call taker is to assist the caller in receiving the child in a safe, sanitary way without pulling, pushing or obstructing the child’s progress. Also, making sure the baby has a clear airway after it leaves the womb is a critical aspect of delivery. The caller may be asked to collect a blanket, clean and dry clothes as well as a string or shoelace for the delivery.
Bleeding control: This can be as simple as it sounds for a minor laceration -- get a clean, dry cloth and hold pressure on the wound, or as complex as looking for body parts after an amputation and securing them for the first responders while maintaining bleeding control at the same time.
Sinking vehicle: Call takers are trained to provide directions on how to escape the vehicle and keep the caller calm when submerged. Sometimes, windows need to be broken and water can be very dark. Staying calm and keeping breathing under control is critical to survival in these events.
Cardiac arrest: The call taker will first instruct the caller to get close to the patient and assess their breathing and responsiveness very closely. Then, callers will be instructed to give chest compressions and numerous breaths by blowing into the mouth of the patient. The key is to get compressions going within 20 seconds. CPR instructions continue until help can arrive and paramedics can take over the care of the patient.
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