Better 911 response was needed for unconscious resident

Web Lead

To the Editor:

At approximately 7:30 p.m. March 14, I found my friend lying on the kitchen floor unconscious and unresponsive. She appeared to have fainted for some reason. I called 911, which was slowly answered after several rings. I identified myself and my location, and asked her to send an ambulance. Explaining the situation, the operator put me on hold without explanation, and told me not to hang up. After what seemed like a very long time, after waiting for the operator to return, I hung up to attend to my friend, who was showing signs of life by opening her eyes and speaking.

The phone rang and I answered to find an RCMP officer asking what the concern was, for which I took the time to explain and, in conclusion, that I was going to load my friend into my vehicle and transport her myself to the local Creston hospital. This, I have been informed, could have been a very bad choice in a heart attack or stroke occurrence. Luckily, we made it safely to the hospital where she remained overnight for tests and observation, which I am pleased with, considering the 911 responder delayed action and guidance time. I am very pleased that my friend did not experience a more immediate life-threatening event because of the area’s emergency response guidelines, if there are any to be followed, in the case of heart attacks, strokes or any other number of life’s necessary functions.

Now is the time to ask local administrators how they can improve 911 guidelines, particularly how those involving how unresponsive person at home are to be handled. In my opinion, there are a number of errors in the above 911 responder’s actions that should be improved. Have a set of specific questions to ask and to inform the caller. When it is clearly a potential life-threatening situation requesting an ambulance, send out the ambulance. If it is mandatory to first call RCMP for them to vet all 911 calls in every case to ascertain safety for responder risks or domestic dispute concerns, by all means train RCMP officers in 911 call duties and have them present in the same office and take calls.

In my case, I should have been coached by the 911 responder on how to best attend to my friend and told that they were dispatching ambulance and calling the RCMP, not told to hang on in silence. I understand the concerns of emergency responder safety regarding potential personal risks at every call; however, life-threatening emergencies are purely time-related. In order to save lives, training is imperative and very important for everyone. Evaluate and assess all calls, learn from them and implement new guidelines as required.

I hope that if anyone in Creston requires emergency response they experience a better experience than I received this time, and I hope it is better next time if I do request some for my injured neighbour or myself.

Special thanks to all hospital emergency first responders and admitting staff for their speedy demonstration of professionalism and caring attitude. Please continue on showing their very positive personal culture.

Allan Harvey


Just Posted

Creston man arrested and charged in 2015 murder

Nathaniel Jessup 32 of Creston has been charged with the second-degree murder of Katherine McAdam and offering an indignity to a body.

Police respond to a suspicious occurrence in West Creston

Police received 112 calls for assistance from May 14 to May 23.

New publisher appointed

Brian Lawrence is returning to the Advance to assume a dual role as publisher/sales manager.

Creston Fire Rescue respond to 11 calls from May 14-May 21

Creston Fire Rescue responded to 11 calls from May 14-21 as reported… Continue reading

Fundraiser planned to support Faulks family

A spaghetti dinner and silent auction will be held in the Creston Hotel banquet room on May 26.

VIDEO: Protesters in Penticton gather to rally against sleeping-on-sidewalk bylaw

The proposed bylaw would outlaw sitting or lying on the city’s downtown sidewalks

Raptors beat Bucks 100-94 to advance to franchise’s first-ever NBA Finals

Leonard has 27 points, 17 boards to lead Toronto past Milwaukee

Third person charged in death of B.C. teen Bhavkiran Dhesi

Inderdeep Kaur Deo facing charge of accessory after the fact to murder

Kamloops girl, 9, recovering from carbon monoxide poisoning now out of ICU

Her mother who was sleeping in the same tent with her did not survive

‘I think he’s still alive’: B.C. mom pleads for help finding son last seen a month ago

Family offering $5,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Tim Delahaye

New poll suggests one-third don’t want politicians to wear religious symbols

Local politicians shouldn’t be allowed to wear hijabs, crucifixes or turbans on the job, survey suggests

Raptors fans far from home adjust plans to watch pivotal playoff game

Raptors currently lead the playoff series 3-2, and a win Saturday would vault them into NBA finals

Five takeaways from the Court of Appeal ruling on B.C.’s pipeline law

It’s unclear how many tools are left in B.C.’s toolbox to fight the project

Scheer says it would take Conservatives five years to balance budget

Scheeraccused the Liberal government of spending $79.5 billion of previously unbudgeted funds

Most Read