Hundreds of calls come in every single day to the 911 call center at the Office of Emergency Management and Communications, but recently dispatchers got an emergency call for one of their own.
“I was actually on the stretcher and they were rolling me to the ambulance (before) I realized what had happened,” said Timothy Bingham.
Bingham was wrapping up a recent shift at OEMC when he suffered a heart attack, according to officials.
“The thing that crosses my mind, I was about to be relieved in about 15 to 20 minutes,” he said. “If that would have happened and I would have been in my car I think, you know, God forbid, I could have taken a couple of people out with me driving home.”
The 60-year-old said he didn’t show any signs or symptoms before going into cardiac arrest.
“I had no symptoms at all,” he said. “I didn’t get dizzy. I didn’t have any pain.”
Bingham works in a back room where he maintains the fire alarms for the city. A coworker said the phone kept ringing in the back room. He went to answer the phone and found Bingham passed out.
“I yelled for him and said 'Tim are you okay?' No answer,” Fire Communications Supervisor Bob Rose said. “I went over, shook him, still no answer, so then I just screamed outside, 'hey get an ambulance.'”
Others on the floor rushed in to help, with one grabbing the AED machine and others beginning to perform CPR.
“I checked his pulse,” said Junior Operator Danny Shevlin. “No pulse. He wasn’t breathing normally.”
Shelvin performed CPR with the help of Charles Reed, who is the fire communications operator.
“I helped remove his shirt, assisted with CPR,” said Reed. “The AED came back and delivered the shock.”
Call taker Adrian Sanchez rushed to grab the defibrillator.
“We shocked him and just another 20 to 30 seconds of CPR and that’s when he was talking and moving,” said Sanchez.
Dispatcher Earl Morrissey called for the ambulance and provided extra support.
“We worried about the oxygen, getting him the oxygen he needed,” he said. “The ambulance was pulling up downstairs and that’s when I ran downstairs to let them know to bring the cot.”
Bingham knows he was in good hands on that fateful day.
“When I was leaving I could still hear people answering 911 calls doing their jobs,” he said. “Not a lot of people know how hard that job is and they do it everyday.”
Bingham hopes by sharing his story others will be inspired to learn the life saving technique of CPR and learn how to operate an AED. He said had it not been for his coworkers he wouldn’t be here today.
“I certainly wouldn’t be talking to you,” he said. “I’m convinced of that. I was incredibly lucky.”
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