Sheppard Air Force Base   Right Corner Banner
Join the Air Force

News > Base emergency dispatcher key to life-saving effort
Base emergency dispatcher helps save a life
Jason Dandurand, emergency dispatcher with the Sheppard Air Force Base Fire Department,at work in the emergency communications control center May 11, 2012. Dandurand's handling of an emergency 9-1-1 call helped save a three-year old child during a near-drowing incident. (U.S. Air Force photo/Dan Hawkins)
Download HiRes
Base emergency dispatcher key to life-saving effort

Posted 5/11/2012   Updated 5/11/2012 Email story   Print story


by Dan Hawkins
82nd Training Wing Public Affairs

5/11/2012 - SHEPPARD AIR FORCE BASE, Texas -- Working in the world of emergency response means there are very few "normal" days at the office. For Jason Dandurand, May 10 was anything but a routine day.

Dandurand, an emergency dispatcher with the Sheppard Air Force Base Fire Department, was working his shift at approximately 6:39 p.m. when he received a phone call most dispatchers dread.

"I picked up the 9-1-1 line and the female caller was hysterical," Dandurand said. "It didn't take me long to realize something was terribly wrong."

A 3-year-old child had wandered out the back door of an off-base residence in Wichita Falls and had fallen in the swimming pool. The child's grandmother was able to get the girl out of the pool and was administering life-saving CPR.

"I asked for her address and as soon as she gave it to me, I was able to transfer the call to the Wichita Falls emergency dispatchers," Dandurand said. "It took only 10-15 seconds from the initial call pick-up to the time I was transferring the call downtown."

In the medical world, 10-15 seconds can easily be the difference between life and death. Local first responders were on-scene at the residence within five minutes of the initial call received by Sheppard's new E-9-1-1 system.

Dandurand was able to stay on the line with the caller until the first responders arrived at the residence.

With experience as an active-duty Air Force Security Forces specialist and having been an emergency dispatcher for 11 months, Dandurand did not hesistate when asked what role the new system played in helping save a life.

"Seconds count," he said. "This system saves seconds that might not seem important in normal every day life; it helped save a life last night."

Thankfully, the child is expected to fully recover from the incident. Having the capability to impact just such a situation is why the new system was put in place.

"The (new E-9-1-1) system is just two months old," said Sheppard Air Force Base Fire Chief David Mounsey. "It took us a long time to get this system, but it's satisfying when you can see the immediate dividends it provides."

Understanding there is no such thing as a routine call sometimes can take some time to sink in, but Mounsey was quick to praise Dandurand's efforts.

"You never know what you're going to get when that phone rings," Mounsey said. "Jason was prepared for the unexpected and it helped save a life last night."

The feeling of being the initial part of a live-saving story was overwhelming for Dandurand.

"I got pretty emotional once I found out she was breathing," he said. "It was just a sense of relief to know she was going to make it."

No comments yet.  
Add a comment

 Inside Sheppard AFB

ima cornerSearch

Site Map      Contact Us     Questions     Security and Privacy notice     E-publishing  
Suicide Prevention    SAPR   IG   EEO   Accessibility/Section 508   No FEAR Act