An Orange County couple who had a harrowing experience after the husband suffered a heart attack last month met with the 911 dispatch trainee who answered the wife’s frantic call and helped save the man’s life.
Sharon and Steve Kielty were all smiles as they walked into the fire station in Rancho Santa Margarita on Monday to meet Chris Carvalho, the 911 dispatch trainee.
It was on July 1 that 62-year-old Steve went into full cardiac arrest and Sharon called the emergency hotline.
“What’s your emergency,” Dispatcher Carvalho can be heard saying in audio of the 911 call.
“Yeah, my husband just had a heart attack. He collapsed on the floor and he’s turning red and purple. Please come!” Sharon, panic-stricken, is heard responding.
At the time, Carvalho, a probationary dispatcher, had only been on the job for three months.
“We’ll be there soon, but you’re going to keep doing this until we take over, okay? Do not stop,” Carvalho is heard saying.
As far as Steve and Sharon are concerned, if this was a test, Carvalho aced it, because even though Sharon had some previous CPR training, she said Chris helped keep her focused on what she needed to do when her husband’s life was on the line.
“They just parked. It’s going to take them another few seconds to get their gear, but just keep going. You’re doing great,” Carvalho is heard reassuring Sharon.
“It doesn’t seem like he has a pulse,” Sharon responds.
“Keep going. You’re acting as his pulse right now. Just remember that, so just keep going,” Carvalho says on the high-stakes emergency call.
At the station today, the trio finally got to meet in person.
“Just that moral support and his voice helping me through this, I mean, you calmed me down so much and I wasn’t alone in the scariest moment of my life,” Sharon explained at the fire station.
For his part, Carvalho said that he was glad to meet the Kielty’s because dispatchers don’t often get to interact with the people they’re working to help.
“As dispatchers, we often don’t know the outcomes of our callers,” he said. “So, it’s great to see that this was a favorable outcome, great to see that her husband is alive and well, doing very well in fact.”
As for Steve, he was thrilled to meet both Carvalho and one of the firefighters who came to his rescue. He also had a message for others.
“I didn’t think it would ever happen to me and chances are it could happen to you too,” he said. “Don’t take your health for granted.”