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911 dispatcher’s actions believed to have saved woman’s life

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911 dispatcher Layton Powell’s actions played a role in the saving of a woman’s life on Tuesday. | Courtesy Bingham County Sheriff’s Office

BLACKFOOT — Bingham County Sheriff Craig Rowland says a dispatcher’s efforts Tuesday helped save the life of a local woman.

Bingham County Dispatcher Layton Powell received a 911 call from the husband of a woman finding it difficult to breathe, Rowland wrote in a letter of commendation released Wednesday. During the 911 call, Powell discovered the woman was unconscious and showing signs of agonal breathing, a reflex that sounds like someone gasping for air. The condition is often an indication of a more serious medical condition.

“At that time, Powell began instructing the caller in performing CPR,” Rowland wrote. “Powell was calm, professional, courteous, compassionate and encouraging.”

Shelley Quick Response Unit Chief Barney arrived and said the woman was awake and talking to him. Barney said the woman had been in full cardiac arrest, an ailment that causes the sudden and unexpected loss of heart function. Barney said if Powell had not instructed the woman’s husband on performing CPR, she would not have lived.

We are proud at the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office to have Powell as a part of our 911 team,” Rowland wrote. “Some people spend their whole lives wondering if they make a difference. When you work in 911, you don’t have to wonder.”

Rowland thanked Powell for her hard work and dedication to the Sheriff’s office and the community.

“You make a difference,” Rowland said to Powell.

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