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Deseret News; September 3, 1988
Layton Mom says thanks to dispatcher
Layton-I need a paramedic at·West 1050 North, Layton, right now!
My baby's drowned. My baby's drowned. Hurry, hurry!
Lori Chapman doesn't remember saying those words after she found her 8-month-old boy, Chase, floating in the bathtub. But she does remember the calm, reassuring voice of Davis County dispatcher Karen Wright telling her how to revive her boy's limp body.
Meeting face-to-face for the first time, Friday morning, the once total stangers, hugged and cried as they relived the four minutes they spent together on the phone this week. During that brief exchange on a 911 emergency line they coaxed life back into a small boy that only minutes later might have suffered brain damage or died.
Chase, hardly aware of his brush with death, smiled broadly and crawled about as cameras whirred.
Chapman says she is grateful for Davis County's 911 system, which went into operation about the same time Chase was born, and even more thankful for that calm voice on the other line that led her through the steps of cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
"You saved his life," Chapman told Wright on Friday with a broken voice.
"We both did," said Wright.
It was about 5:20 p.m. Tuesday when Chapman had placed Chase in the upstairs bathtub after he became soiled while eating Oreo cookies. She turned on the faucet and then heard her 7-year-old, T.J., tell her someone was on the phone. She walked into T.J.'s bedroom and picked up the receiver.
"I must have talked for 10 minutes. I walked out of his room and down the hall·The horror just hit me. I looked in the bathtub and water was running full blast and the tub was swirling. He was floating on the top. I ran and grabbed him out and ran down the stairs," Chapman said.
She ran outside and next door to the home of Dave and Ilene Parker. There Dave Parker told Chapman to dial 911. With Chase lying on the Parkerâs living room carpet, Chapman said she became part of a miracle.
"From all that has happened I knew he wasn't supposed to die," she said.
From the dispatch center Wright, compassionately, but directly, told Chapman to "calm down." She then told her how to tilt back the child's head and begin abdominal compressions and mouth-to-mouth and nose breathing.
"I didn't realize she could tell me what to do with him at the time. I thought they were going to send the ambulance and that was the best they could do," Chapman said.
Chapman said she had taken a baby-CPR class, but the sight of a lifeless baby in the bathtub put her mind in a frenzy. It was Wright's calm, clear voice that brought some sanity to the drama.
"Her voice was so mesmerizing that she said Îcalm down' and proceeded to tell me everything to do and I remembered," Chapman said. "Everything she told me made sense."
After eight compressions Chase began breathing and regained his color. A sigh of relief and joy came on both ends of the line. When Wright heard the sirens of the paramedic vehicles on the line and hung up the phone, she was soaked with sweat. She turned and started weeping.
Chase stayed overnight in the hospital.
"This is probably one of the nicest parts of my seven-year career," Wright said.
Chapman said that every family should take time to teach their children how to act in an emergency, particularly how to use the 911 system and how to do CPR.
"I can't imagine people in their own homes not knowing this stuff·because at least you can know you did something for them. If you didnât know how to do anything you would never forgive yourself and live a life of hell," Chapman said.
Davis County Sheriffâs Capt. K.D. Simpson said only about 15 percent to 20 percent of emergency calls are received on the countywide system, which went into service in Feb. 15.
Wright, a veteran dispatcher and reserve Woods Cross police officer, said the new system can save crucial minutes in both dispatch time and time the specially trained dispatchers can help callers.
"On this call it saved 45 seconds to a minute, and every minute counts," she said.