Bell County 911 dispatcher Nicole Maher and Fort Hood dispatchers Jean Watts and George Woods were recognized at the Texas Association of Public Safety Communications Officials conference this week as the 2017 Communicator Team of the Year.
The dispatchers who worked together saved the life of a Central Texas man near Lake Belton on July 5, 2017.
Maher received a 911 call from a man in distress, having difficulty speaking and only able to give her and Fort Hood 911 dispatchers limited information about his whereabouts and the nature of the emergency.
"He was wheezing, and he was really having a hard time getting his words out, basically it sounded like someone was having an asthma attack kind of like they are whispering and they are kind of hoarse,” stated Maher.
Searching for ways to communicate with him the dispatchers had the caller press one button for yes and two times for no, to try narrow their search for his location.
First responders found the man near the Belton Lake Outdoor Recreation Area. First responders were able to resuscitate the man after he suffered a heart attack.
“It is extremely rewarding, and I know it makes a difference not only in my life but in his life as well that I was able to impact somebody that much to know that they are always going to remember that for the rest of their life and I’m always going to remember that for the rest of my life as well," stated Maher.
Bell County Communications Center Executive Director Michael Harmon is proud of the work the telecommunicator team of the year performed.
"It demonstrated that were on track as far as the training were offering our people that they are able to handle such difficult situations with professionalism and grace," Harmon said.
Fort Hood Fire Department responders Jeffery Brinson, Kevin Frierson along with Medics Matthew McCullough, Dusty Atwood, Captain Griffin and Battalion Chief Brian Klosteroff were also recognized on Wednesday at the conference for helping save the man's life.
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