As a dispatcher at St. Clair’s 911 center, Ashley McWaters doesn’t usually have to practice what she preaches as she guides people in crisis. However, last we she put her knowledge to the test when her coworker, Amanda Ramsey, began to choke.
“We answer 911 calls daily, you always have to be on your toes, you never know what’s going to be on the other end of the line, I never in a million years thought it would be someone in the room I would be doing something on.”
Wednesday morning Ramsey took a large vitamin that got stuck in her throat, and McWaters practiced the Heimlich maneuver approximately six times before she was able to breathe again
“I kept going and finally I felt the air get back into her lungs, I’ve never been that terrified on the floor. I was scared for her. I didn’t know you could feel the breath come back into a body, and that’s when I stopped.
Dispatchers train every two years on the Heimlich maneuver and CPR.
“I took those skills and applied it to real life. It’s different saving a life over the phone than it is in real life, because you’re telling someone how to do it, you’re not actually physically doing it. I told her it wore me out,” McWaters said and laughed.
McWaters was honored by administrator, Freddie Turrentine, Robbie Young, training coordinator of operations at St. Clair Communications and Sheriff Billy Murray. She received the Livesaver award and pin.