WHAT: Media opportunity
WHEN: Tuesday, April 13
TIME: 1 p.m.
LOCATION: CCSO Communications Center, third floor Collier County Emergency Services Center, 8075 Lely Cultural Parkway, East Naples
MEDIA NOTE: Reporters, please meet in the main lobby.
When a call came into the Collier County Sheriff’s Office Communications Center on Nov. 8, 2009, at 1 p.m. senior emergency dispatcher Catherine Duque heard a woman crying and screaming, “Come on, Rudy breathe” in the background.
Duque was able to help the caller talk the boy’s terrified aunt through CPR before paramedics arrived.
The critical information communicated could be what helped save 7-year-old Rodolfo “Rudy” Martinez Jr. of Immokalee.
Sheriff Kevin J. Rambosk presented Duque, 27, with a CCSO Lifesaving Award in March. It was Duque’s first life save in her nine years as a CCSO dispatcher.
On Tuesday, Collier County commissioners will designate April 11 to April 17 as National Telecommunications Week in Collier County to recognize the critical role CCSO public safety dispatchers like Duque play in the community.
“I think it’s a rewarding job because I can change and improve the lives of many people one person at a time,” Duque said. “That’s why my job is important.”
According to Collier County Sheriff’s Office reports, Rudy was playing outside when he accidentally became entangled in a rope that tightened around his neck. The rope was connected between two trees with a loop in the middle. The boy put his head in the loop because he wanted to swing. But the rope accidentally pulled before it could pass his neck, causing it to tighten and preventing him from breathing.
Sylvia Faz, 34, told deputies that she was inside her residence when her roommate came in and said Rudy, then 6, was hanging by a rope in the backyard. Faz went outside and found her nephew on the ground unconscious.
Faz removed a lollipop from inside Rudy’s mouth and began doing CPR. Rudy was purple and gasping for air. His eyes were closed.
Another person who was at the residence called 911.
The caller told Duque that Rudy was unconscious and trying to breathe, while Faz was crying and pleading with Rudy to breathe.
“Let’s start CPR,” Duque said over the din.
The caller explained that Faz was already performing CPR. Calmly and clearly, Duque told the caller she was going to instruct her on how to do mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. She asked the caller to repeat the instructions out loud for Faz.
Then Duque told her how to do chest compressions, instructing Faz to pump the boy’s chest hard and fast at least 30 times.
Faz, who had CPR training in 1994, said she believes the CPR instructions that Duque provided are what saved Rudy’s life.
“She did a good job because he’s still alive,” Faz said. “It could have gone wrong if she hadn’t been giving me instructions. I was only doing five chest pumps when I should have been doing 30 pumps. I was nervous.”
Duque credited her emergency medical dispatcher training.
“All of a sudden this peace overwhelmed me and I gave her instructions,” she added.
For Duque, the experience was unforgettable.
“After I hung up, I just prayed and prayed and prayed for the little boy,” Duque said. “For me it was a miracle.”