BOURNE - Barnstable Fire Department’s new chief, Francis Pulsifer, details events leading to this commendation he presented last week to Barnstable County Sheriff’s telecommunicator Micaela Pope. Peter Thomas, right, Pope’s boss and the Sheriff’s chief deputy for emergency communications, listens attentively. The Onset resident’s expert medical instructions enabled bystanders at the other end of the phone to keep a heart attack victim alive while paramedics were rushing to the scene. That action included maintaining the patient’s airway. “Without these aggressive emergency dispatch instructions to provide bystander CPR,” Chief Pulsifer’s citation reads, “and the pre-hospital treatment that was administered to this patient, the outcome would have been gravely different.”
Telecommunicator Pope and Chief Pulsifer are joined at the podium by the newest member of Pope’s family, 15-month-old Owen. When Owen is old enough to read, his mom will be able to share this from the citation’s final paragraph: “Barnstable’s Fire Department is very fortunate to have such skilled and dedicated emergency dispatchers working for this District. Congratulations [to Micaela] and keep up the great work!” Barnstable County Sheriff James Cummings had a similar take on events, pointing out the dichotomy inherent in emergency dispatch. “It can be very stressful,” Cummings acknowledged, “but on those occasions when you help save someone’s life, very gratifying as well.”
Owen seems to be calling for a point of order, but in fact he’s reacting to mom being called to the head of the class. That’s his grandparents and Micaela’s parents – Edward and Wendy McCormack of Lakeville – enjoying both the ceremony and their toddler grandson’s antics. The heart attack victim, incidentally, is an Upper Cape Regional Tech teacher who was in class this day and unable to attend the ceremony. He had some mild bouts with short-term memory loss, according to Chief Pulsifer, but even those have subsided.
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