Friday, February 10th, 2017

COUNTY TELECOMMUNICATIONS OFFICERS GET “LIFESAVER and MEDICAL ASSISTANCE AWARDS’’

TELECOMMUNICATORS HELPED DELIVER CHILDREN, GIVE CPR INSTRUCTIONS, AND RESTORE BREATHING TO AN INFANT

Freeholders Honor County Communications Officers for Lifesaving Efforts

(l/r) Michael Peoples, Freeholder Doug Cabana, Ashley Napolitano, Kirk Keyes, William O’Connor, Fred Sharp, and Director of the Morris County Dept. of Law and Public Safety Scott DiGiralomo. Recipients Kyle Hoffman and Peter Dwyer could not attend the event.

Six Morris County telecommunications officers, who are part of a countywide emergency communications network, received Lifesaving or Medical Assistance Awards today at the Board of Freeholders’ meeting in Morristown for their exemplary efforts in dealing with a variety of difficult emergency events over the past year.

The officers, who work at the county Communications Center for the Morris County Communications Division in Parsippany, were honored for instructing county residents on delivering babies, providing CPR, and opening blocked airways.

Freeholder Cabana and Michael Peoples with Ashley Napolitano, who talked a couple through child birth in January

Freeholder Cabana and Michael Peoples with Ashley Napolitano, who talked a couple through child birth in January

“These men and women were faced with very difficult situations, in some cases dealing with life and death. They were able to provide valuable information in tense situations that saved lives and brought new county residents into our world,’’ said Morris County Freeholder Director Doug Cabana.

“These fine telecommunicators did more than just provide the tools to help people in distress. They offered a calming influence – in effect holding a hand to those in distress – to help get them through their ordeals. They are to be commended,’’ said Michael Peoples, Director of the Communications Division of the Morris County Department of Law and Public Safety.

Awards recipients include William O’Connor, Kyle Hoffman, Peter Dwyer, Kirk Keyes, Ashley Napolitano, and Fred Sharp.

The awards program began in 2010 to recognize outstanding efforts of county telecommunicators, with about 60 awards made to deserving personnel.

Here is a look at today’s award winners:

Freeholders Honor County Communications Officers for Lifesaving Efforts

(l/r) Freeholder Cabana, Director People and William O’Connor

Senior Public Safety Telecommunicator William O’Connor

On Jan. 22, 2016, at 11:45 p.m., during the height of a blizzard, Senior PST William O’Connor received an emergency 911 call from a father in Morris Township reporting that his wife was in child labor. O’Connor promptly began to provide emergency medical childbirth instructions to the father over the phone. Within seconds, the baby was born — prior to the arrival of first responders. PST O’Connor remained on the phone with the father ensuring that the baby was breathing and offered reassurance to the father and mother until emergency medical personnel arrived. Senior PST O’Connor of the Morris County Communications Division received the Medical Assistance Award for his actions.

Public Safety Telecommunicator Kyle Hoffman

On April 10, 2016, at 3 p.m., PST Kyle Hoffman received an emergency 911call reporting that a man had collapsed at Fosterfields Living Historical Park in Morris Township. The caller, a Morris County Park Commission employee who demonstrated incredible calm given the situation, carefully listened to PST Hoffman provide CPR instructions over the phone. The caller provided an estimated 600 chest compressions at the instruction of PST Hoffman, keeping him alive until first responders from the Morris County Park Police, Morris Township Police, the Morris Minutemen EMS squad and the Morristown Medical Center arrived. The victim survived thanks to these efforts. PST Kyle Hoffman has received the Morris County Communications Division Lifesaving Award for his actions.

Senior Public Safety Telecommunicator Peter Dwyer

On June 21, 2016 at 4:04pm, Senior PST Peter Dwyer received a 911 call from a woman located in Mendham Township reporting that she had witnessed her husband collapse and that he was not breathing. The caller was having a difficult time providing her exact location. SPST Dwyer was able to calm the caller, offer reassurance, and determine the location of the call. Dwyer began to provide CPR instructions to the caller over the phone. Several times Dwyer had to calm the caller so she could focus on understanding the CPR instructions. The caller began chest compressions and continued to do so at the urging of PST Dwyer until police officers arrived, about 2 minutes later. Police officers and EMS personnel utilized a defibrillator to revive the victim. Senior PST Dwyer Has received the Morris County Communications Division Lifesaving Award for his actions.

Public Safety Telecommunicator Ashley Napolitano

On Jan. 5, 2017, at 9:45 a.m., PST Napolitano received an emergency 911 call from the husband of a woman who was in the final stages of child labor at a location in Morris Township. Napolitano promptly began to provide emergency childbirth pre-arrival information but learned that the mother was not in the correct position to give a safe delivery.

Napolitano directed the husband to prepare his wife for a safe delivery and to ensure that the mother was not in any life-threatening distress. PST Napolitano continued to ask the husband if he saw any part of the baby. The father exclaimed that he saw the baby’s head. Napolitano then provided instructions to the father on how to support the baby as it was exiting the womb. At this time, emergency first responder medical services arrived to assume care of the mother. A short time later, a baby girl was born. PST Napolitano has received the Morris County Communications Division’s Medical Assistance Award for her actions.

Freeholders Honor County Communications Officers for Lifesaving Efforts

Freeholder Cabana, Director Peoples, and Kirk Keyes

Public Safety Telecommunicator Kirk Keyes 

On Jan. 30, 2017, at 10:02pm, PST Kirk Keyes received an emergency 911 call from the husband of a woman who was in the final stages of labor in Chatham Township. Keyes began providing emergency childbirth pre-arrival instructions to the husband and, during questioning of the father, learned that the baby was on its way. The couple received instructions from Keyes to on how to support the baby, and the mother continued to give birth while PST Keyes provided vital instructions to the father. The successful joint delivery effort resulted in the birth of a healthy baby boy. PST Keyes continued to provide instructions to the father and mother to ensure the baby was not in any distress until police officers arrived at the house. PST Keyes has received the Morris County Communications Division’s Medical Assistance Award for his actions.

Public Safety Telecommunicator Fred Sharp

On Feb. 3, 2017, at 8:32pm, PST Fred Sharp received an emergency 911 call from a neighbor in Morristown reporting that an 8-month old baby was not breathing. Sharp quickly determined that the baby was, in fact, not breathing and was turning blue. Sharp instructed the caller, who relayed the instructions to the mother of the baby, to clear the airway of the baby and provide rescue breathing. Within moments, the baby coughed and expelled fluid and began to breathe and cry, signaling a cleared airway. Sharp remained on the call until police officers arrived to continue care of the baby boy. PST Sharp has received the Morris County Communications Division’s Lifesaving Award for his actions.