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Barnstable County Sheriff
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Sheriff's 911 & Orleans Fire team-up for life-saving CPR
Barnstable County Sheriff James M. Cummings reports today at approximately 7:51am, a 911 emergency telephone call was received by the Sheriff’s 911 Communications Center from the One-Stop Oil Change shop located on Cranberry Highway in Orleans. The caller indicated that a customer had suffered a seizure.
The call was answered by Sheriff’s Office Dispatcher Brittany Horrigan (who is also an EMT). Orleans Fire & Rescue was immediately dispatched by fellow Sheriff’s Office Dispatcher Shannon Brookshire. Horrigan remained on the telephone line providing emergency medical instructions to the caller. Before the ambulance arrived, the patient stopped breathing and went into cardiac arrest.
Over the telephone, Dispatcher Horrigan instructed the caller and bystander how to properly administer CPR. Chest compressions were started on scene by a bystander as the Dispatcher remained on the telephone line providing support and further instructions. The patient responded to the CPR and started to breathe on his own.
Orleans Fire Inspector/Paramedic Greg Baker arrived, equipped with an automated external defibrillator. An ambulance staffed by Captain William Reynolds, Firefighter/Paramedic Thomas Pellegrino, Firefighter/EMT Michael Pires, and Firefighter/Paramedic Aaron Burns arrived immediately after. CPR was continued and advanced life support measures were provided during transport to Cape Cod Hospital.
"Calls like these highlight the importance of early 911, early CPR, early defibrillation, and early advanced care in providing best possible patient care. Teamwork, technical skill and professionalism were displayed in helping members of our community in the time of an emergency" said Orleans Deputy Fire Chief Geof Deering.
“While our telecommunicators are trained to make a difference with every call they answer, this particular one has special meaning given the circumstances and time of year. This is a great example of how highly trained telecommunicators, firefighters and bystander CPR can save lives” added Chief Deputy of Communications Peter Thomas.
The Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center has been in operation since 1938 when the Massachusetts legislature enacted Chapter 100, Acts of 1938 that authorized the Sheriff to operate a “police broadcasting radio system.” Today, the Communications Division has a staff of 37. All Sheriff’s employees are certified in CPR, First Responder, APCO (Association of Public Safety Communication Officials) basic telecommunicator and APCO EMD (Emergency Medical Dispatch).
The Sheriff’s Office provides Fire dispatch services for the Barnstable and West Barnstable Fire Districts, as well as the towns of Bourne, Mashpee, Orleans, Wellfleet, Brewster, Dennis, Harwich and Otis Fire Departments. The Barnstable County Fire Mutual Aid System is maintained and dispatched from the Sheriff’s Center.Sheriff Cummings commented, “Keeping calm and relying on her training, Dispatcher Horrigan’s professional instructions to the 911 caller likely saved a life on Christmas Eve. We all hope and pray for a full recovery for this patient.”