Woman rescued by 9-1-1 coaching

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, April 4, 2001


PHOTO: 9-1-1 OPERATOR URSULA KELLY accepts a plaque from the St. Charles Parish Council honoring her lifesaving effort on behalf of a New Sarpy grandmother. (Staff Photo by Leonard Gray) HAHNVILLE – A 9-1-1 operator was honored Monday by the St. Charles Parish Council for her lifesaving efforts with a New Sarpy grandmother. The unidentified woman was discovered unconscious and apparently not breathing Jan. 31 by her 18-year-old granddaughter. A frantic call to 9-1-1 reached Ursula Kelly, who heard the woman say, “I think my grandmother’s dead!” Kelly calmed the young woman and guided her through giving CPR until emergency medical technicians and sheriff’s deputies arrived and took over. Kelly used techniques learned in her training to calm herself and the woman and take charge of the phone call. Kelly, according to 9-1-1 Director Capt. Craig Petit, “would not accept she’s dead,'” and she immediately began reading to the caller instructions on how to administer CPR. The grandmother was transported to St. Charles Parish Hospital. Weeks later, Kelly inquired as to the status of the patient, and moments later, the caller contacted the center to thank the dispatcher “who saved her mother’s life.” The caller said she was told by doctors that whatever was done prior to the arrival of the EMTs made the difference between life and death for the patient. Several days afterward, the daughter and granddaughter of the stricken woman arrived at the 9-1-1 Center with a candy bouquet, hugs and kisses, Petit continued, to express their gratitude. The daughter, Petit said, was amazed Kelly was able to get the granddaughter to follow the vital CPR instructions in that situation because she was naturally “afraid of her own shadow and won’t go into a house by herself.” Parish Councilman Brian Fabre presented Kelly with a plaque Monday, and Kelly responded she’s “sharing this with everyone” at the center as part of the team.