‘I need to do my best to give them the help that they need’: Mentor dispatcher credited for helping save newborn’s life

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MENTOR, Ohio (WJW)- A frantic mother dialed 911 after discovering her 2-month-old baby stopped breathing. A quick-thinking dispatcher put his training to the test and is being honored for walking the mother through steps to save the baby’s life.

Just before 8:30 p.m., May 27, Mentor dispatcher Tim Johns received a call from a frantic mother who said her 2-month-old baby boy is not breathing.

“I’m just thinking whatever this mom needs, whatever this baby needs, I need to do my best to give them the help that they need,” Johns said.

Johns said he immediately dispatched police, fire and EMS crews to the home. Then, he talked the mother through life-saving measures over the phone.

“Slightly tilt the head back, put your ear next to her mouth, do you hear any breathing? Completely cover the baby’s nose and mouth with your mouth. Blow two puffs of air about one second each,” he instructed the mother during the call.

Emotionally distraught, the mother said the baby was still not breathing.  Johns instructed her how to continue CPR with chest compressions.

“Do it 30 times, I’ll count for you… One, two, three, four,” he said, helping the mother perform CPR.

“She did everything that I asked her to do, including the breaths and I could hear the breaths going in. I could hear that she was doing the compressions. she was doing a great job. At one point, she said that the child’s arm moved during the call, which was a real sigh of relief that the child was then moving,” Johns said.

“Keep going, keep going, keep going, keep going, you’re doing great,” Johns can be heard saying on the 911 call.

For four minutes, the dispatcher coached the mother through CPR, then first responders arrived.

“Tim did it near perfect,” said Mentor Fire Chief Robert Searles.

The chief gave Johns a letter of commendation, praising his life-saving actions.

“He also had to simultaneously coordinate with the other dispatchers to get police, fire and then EMS units going and he got them on the road right away and that certainly made a difference,” said the chief.

“Anyone of us, we’re all trained to do the exact same thing, but I was just very grateful that I was able to help her out and that the outcome was so good,” Johns said.

The fire chief said the mother told him the baby is recovering.

He also said dispatchers , who are usually the first step in the chain of survival often do many tasks at the same time. They are regularly trained and certified in life-saving skills.

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