Rock County 9-1-1 dispatcher saves teen boy’s life

A Rock County Communications Center dispatcher helped guide bystanders how to perform CPR on an 18-year-old boy stuck under a concrete slab.
Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 5:58 PM CST
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ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) - A Rock County 9-1-1 operator is recognized as after staying on the phone to guide bystanders as they performed life-saving CPR on a teenager.

Thanks to Kayla Glass, the teenager is alive today.

“911, what’s your emergency,” says the dispatcher.

The question is the same but for every 9-1-1 dispatcher, the call is different. A house could be on fire, or a crime is being committed.

“It was a very scary moment. Not really knowing what was going on. We can just hear it, we can’t see it,” Glass says.

During her most recent case in Rock County, Glass picked up the phone to learn an 18-year-old boy was trapped underneath a concrete slab and couldn’t breathe. Time was running out to save his life and it was up to her to instruct the bystanders around him how to do it.

“When they finally were able to get him unstuck, I was able to walk them through CPR instructions,” Glass said.

The boy was rushed to a nearby hospital and thanks to the people who performed CPR and Glass who guided them on how to do it, the teen survived.

“Just hearing them trying to conversate with him in the background. ‘C’mon buddy you got this, you know, don’t leave us.’ That was nice,” Glass said.

On any given shift, Glass saw dispatchers answer these kinds of calls. She says they must remain calm to help people get through what could be the hardest moments of their life.

“I love my job, I love being able to help people every day, and these stories, they’re-they’re-it’s just another reason why I’m doing what I’m doing,” Glass said.

“If they weren’t there, nothing would get done. If they weren’t issuing some direction to the bystanders,” said Win-Bur-Sew Fire Protection District Fire Chief Dave Loria.

The Rock County Communications Center awarded Glass with a lifesaver pin for her efforts. This is her second pin.

First responders say learning CPR is crucial. You can sign up to get certified through the American Red Cross.