HOWLAND, Ohio (WKBN) — Police and fire dispatchers help save people’s lives every day – but it’s much rarer for dispatchers to save one another.
Thursday was a normal day at the Trumbull County dispatch office for Shana Murphy and Katelyn Bower, until dinner that evening.
“I just had a pursuit with Liberty and I got a chance to eat, and when I took a bite, the steak got lodged in my throat,” Murphy said.
Murphy tried swallowing her food again, but it wasn’t going down. Luckily, Bower realized she needed help.
“She was hitting her chest. She looked like she was in trouble. So I asked her ‘Are you choking? Do you need the Heimlich?'” Bower said.
It took two Heimlich maneuvers to stop Murphy from choking.
“We’re used to dealing with it over the phone for the most part and letting officers, the ambulance, paramedics, firefighters take over and this was just us,” Bower said.
“We’re used to being on the other end, so this was new,” Murphy said.
Murphy is grateful someone was there to help.
“I had no airflow at all, so it was scary. Had she not acted, I don’t know what the conversation would be,” Murphy said.
“I’m just happy she is still here,” Bower said.
For dispatchers — that’s how they want every call for help to end.