A dispatcher from our Lincoln control room has thanked her lucky stars after she choked on a boiled sweet while at work surrounded by colleagues who were able to help. Gillian Holmes, works on our community response desk, dispatching volunteers to life threatening emergencies. She never thought she would find herself in an emergency needing the fast help of her colleagues.
Gill was sat at her desk when she began choking on a sweet. Ian Burton, Paramedic and Duty Operations Manager was sat opposite Gill and quickly spotted she was struggling to breath, she then collapsed.
Ian had recently been interviewed by BBC radio Lincolnshire talking about what steps people should take if they see someone choking; following his own advice Ian dislodged the sweet with 4 hard back slaps. Ian and paramedic Jackie (also on duty in the control room) then gave Gill a full check-up to make sure she was ok.
Ian said “This would have been a Red 1 (most serious) response but Gill was fortunate enough to be sat in a room with three paramedics, a nurse and a control room full of staff aware of what to do in the event of choking.”
Gill is known in the control room as an expert in helping patients who are choking. Earlier this year she was reunited with Peter Ford in Northampton after answering his desperate call for help. Peter rang 999 after choking on his food, Gill was quick thinking and put her training into action using keypad tones to confirm the address of Peter’s emergency.
Gill said “I am so grateful to my colleagues for their help. When I helped Peter over the phone he was along and scared, it made me realise how lucky I was that it happened while I was at work. “