Firefighter-paramedic working dispatcher shift helps woman save father’s life

Norred, a 14-year veteran of the San Antonio Fire Department, helped Monica Pesek revive her unresponsive father after he suffered a stroke

SAN ANTONIO — A veteran firefighter-paramedic helped a woman save the life of her father after taking her 911 call.

KENS5 reported that San Antonio Fire Department firefighter-paramedic Nick Norred was working a shift as a dispatcher when Monica Pesek called 911 to report that her father, Charles, was unresponsive after suffering a stroke.

Pesek said Norred, a 14-year veteran of the SAFD, walked her through CPR and helped her revive Charles.

“First of all, he calmed me and then coached me through CPR,” Pesek said. “Essentially, he instructed me. During the compression, it was two inches below the rib cage.”

Norred said part of “being a professional is relying on your training.”

“It all comes back down to that,” he said. “So, if you panic, who's going to help the patient? Who's going to help that caller?”

Norred stayed on the line with Pesek until help arrived.

“I kept giving her encouragements, as far as the intervention she was doing,” he said. “I was able to give her updates like, 'Oh, they're pulling into your neighborhood. They're three blocks away.’ I knew I wanted to stay on the phone with her until the fire crews arrived on scene. In fact, I had the map pulled up and I was following them in.”

SAFD Communications Division Captain Lisa Jimerson said 52 firefighter-paramedics currently work dual roles at the dispatch center.

“When [a call] gets sent to the fire department, that call taker will be a paramedic. That's the gold standard on how we want to receive 911 calls. Because our call takers are the first link in the chain of survivability,” Jimerson said.

After her father was admitted into the hospital, Pesek called the dispatch center to thank Norred.

“There’s no value I can put on for what you did for me today,” she told him.

Norred said the call was special because he was able to learn the outcome.

“We don't know the outcomes most of the time. This is what's special about this one,” he said. “She contacted us and said, 'Hey, I want to let you know, my dad made it.' That's amazing. I'm just a small part of an amazing team. I know that any of my brothers or sisters who answer that phone would have done the exact same thing.”


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