Some people take their jobs very seriously and when you work as an EMT dispatcher, that’s a very good thing. Recently, one dispatcher’s patience and dedication were put to the test and she passed with flying colors. This New York City dispatcher spent an amazing eight hours on the phone with the victim of a stroke trying to keep her conscious and helping rescue workers locate her.
EMT dispatcher Joanne Hilman-Payne received a call from Mary Thomas who was ill and needed assistance. Hilman-Payne found the woman’s address and sent rescuers to her residence but the woman was not at her 71st Street address.
EMT Captain Philip Weiss, who later wrote a letter of commendation for Joanne, said the dispatcher struggled to communicate with Thomas whose speech was greatly slurred as a result of the stroke she’d had. Joanne was trying to get enough information from the woman to figure out where she was and to keep her conscious.
It took a joint effort from Verizon, the New Your Police Department and the New York Fire Department. Several nearby addresses were checked but each one turned up empty of Thomas. She was finally located at an east 72nd Street address at a residence where she worked as a housekeeper.
From there, she was taken to Lenox Hill Hospital’s Intensive Care Unit.
In the commendation, Weiss stated that Hilman-Payne worked tirelessly to keep Thomas awake, keeping her own composure throughout. She remained calm as she tried to get the victim to give her more details so rescuers could locate the woman suffering from a stroke.
Captain Weiss added that he believed without Hilman-Payne’s and the others involved in the rescue, the outcome for Tho0omas would not have been a positive one.