A 911 dispatcher-in-training from Olympia, Washington recently faced the ultimate test of keeping his cool under pressure when he recognized the voice of a hysterical woman on the other end of the phone as that of his own wife.
Chris Scott had recently returned from a deployment to Iraq, and was undergoing refresher training to become a 911 dispatcher when he got a call from a woman shrieking that her baby couldn’t breath and was turning blue. When she gave her address to Chris so that he could send paramedics, he knew that she was talking about his own baby, Jakob.
Nevertheless, Scott calmly addressed his wife the way he would any other caller. He talked her through a series of back blows until he could hear the infant crying. It turned out, Jakob had swallowed a small piece of plastic wrapping from a bottle.
When he’d been assured that Jakob was fine, Scott hung up the phone. His trainer congratulated him on saving a child’s life. “That was my son,” Scott said, finally starting to come unhinged. His astounded coworker gave him the rest of the day off to be with his family.
Janna Scott later said that she was immediately grateful when her husband answered the call. “I trust him, and I know he knows what he’s doing,” she said, which made it easier for her to calmly follow his instructions for dislodging the piece of plastic.
For those of us who don’t have a family member whose job is to save lives in emergency situations, here’s a guide to the instructions Scott gave his wife.
Photo: KATU News