‘A true hero:’ Flagler dispatcher saves 2 lives through CPR one hour apart

Dispatchers are honored on ‘Tree of Life’ for saving lives

FLAGLER COUNTY, Fla. – Dispatchers often talk to people in the worst moments of their lives but the help provided over the phone can mean the difference between life and death. Flagler County Sheriff’s Office Communications Specialist McKenzie Davis was able to provide that life-saving support to a baby and a man with Parkinson’s Disease all in the course of an hour.

On Sunday around 3:30 p.m., Davis took a 911 call from a mother in Palm Coast who was frantic because her 6-month-old baby was not breathing. Davis walked the mother through CPR and counted with her as she gave the infant compressions. The baby started breathing again and was taken to the hospital but is expected to make a full recovery.

According to the call logs, the baby was breathing again about four minutes after the mother called 911.

About an hour later, Davis took another 911 call from a woman who said her 71-year-old husband with Parkinson’s Disease was found face down in the pool and not breathing after the family pulled him out. No one there knew CPR so over speakerphone Davis explained how to perform CPR to the family, according to FCSO.

“She was just, like, no hesitation at all. She says, ‘I’m going to tell you exactly what to do and he’s going to be fine,’” Barbara Mulvey said.

Family members took turns giving compressions to the man until deputies arrived at the home. Deputy Strack took over CPR until paramedics arrived. Paramedics said by the time the man was being taken to the hospital he had a strong pulse and was expected to fully recover.

“She’s an angel. She was an angel,” Mulvey said.

These calls mark the fourth time this year Davis has helped save someone’s life, according to the Sheriff’s Office.

“It’s all in the tone of your voice. If you’re calm, they’re calm," she said.

On Aug. 5, Davis helped the mother of a toddler who was having a seizure and stopped breathing, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Again, using her training, Davis provided the woman with step-by-step CPR instructions. After one round of compressions, the baby was breathing again.

Davis said she is thankful for happy endings because that isn’t always the case in her line of work.

“It was a relief because ... obviously not all the time is [there] a positive outcome but it was definitely, it was a relief to find out that they did make it," Davis said.

Davis now has four leaves on the FCSO Communication Center’s “Tree of Life,” which honors lives saved by dispatchers. Sheriff Rick Staly said Davis is “a true hero and a great partner with our deputies in the field.”

“911 is the number you call in your darkest hour and it is the voice on the other end of the line that can help you through whatever situation you are facing," Staly said.