MARYSVILLE, California (KCRA) – An emergency dispatcher was put to the test as she fielded a 911 call from her own home with her son’s life at stake.
The ordeal started May 27, when 14-month-old Maverick was playing in the bedroom as his father, Robert Kimball, moved furniture to the living room. When Kimball returned, he knew something was wrong with his son.
“I tried to see what’s going on and I realize he was choking,” Kimball recalled. “When I first found him, his face was kind of like a pink-red. As it progressed and he started having more trouble breathing, it got to a bright red and then he just went pale in face.”
He decided to call 911.
Britney Melchor, his fiancee, was on the other end, as a fellow dispatcher she was training answered the call and took down the home address. That’s when she realized it was her own son who needed medical attention.
“Mommy mode kind of hit – like, that’s my son,” Melchor said. “I panicked. But then I was like, ‘You know what? I got to get him to the help he absolutely needs.'”
Her maternal instincts gave way to all her training, despite her personal stake in the situation. She quickly sent paramedics to her home.
“Being behind the console and in the room where you don’t have interaction with anyone, you see firsthand now that you’re someone’s lifeline,” Melchor said Tuesday. “You’re their guardian angel in the few seconds that you’re on the phone with them.”
Help arrived just after Kimball was able to clear Maverick’s airway of the washer.
“I’m very protective of him,” Kimball said. “And it definitely hit me – knowing that it happened as I was watching him.”
From the incident, Melchor realized the real impact of her everyday job.
“We actually help make the lives of everybody who calls us so much better,” she said.
In this case, it was that of her own family.