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911 dispatcher helps Tucson dad save his son

911 dispatcher's CPR coaching helps save toddler
Posted at 5:35 PM, Jul 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-18 22:06:56-04

In her 30 years working as a 911 dispatcher, Sandy Bindon has heard it all. But she says one type of call always makes her heart sink, “The worst call you can possibly receive is the child in the pool.”

That call came in Sunday night. Tucson Fire Department Captain Andy Skaggs says a toddler got into his family pool and by the time a relative pulled him out the 18 month old boy had been under water about a minute.

As the boy’s father performed CPR, Sandy stayed on the phone.

“My part was just to encourage the father to keep going and to not stop,” she explained. Bindon coached the man through the steps and made sure he was staying in rhythm. 

It took firefighters four minutes to get to the house near Craycroft and 4th Street.

“I could hear the frustration and the 'how did this happen' in his voice,” Bindon said. “And for him I know it had to be very difficult.”

Then, through the phone, she heard the best sound: crying.

“Amazing, amazing,” she said. “It was really nice to know he was breathing on his own and to hear crying.”

Captain Skaggs says this is the 3rd time a child has survived a near-drowning because a pool fence or gate wasn't working properly.

“Children can be a magicians; they can be by your side and then as quietly as ever you look away and they're gone,” explained Skaggs. “It’s that fast and if that pool gate's open they're in it.”

Capt. Skaggs says the department recommends people learn CPR so they're prepared to save a life.