EMS dispatcher helps 9-year-old 911 caller get emergency care for his baby sister

Tom Polzin

Hennepin EMS Dispatcher Tom Polzin and Minneapolis 911 Operator Lori Patrick will be joining 9-year-old Rodrigo Sanchez Sosa of Minneapolis in receiving the “Local 9-1-1 Heroes Award” from the National 911 for Kids Program; in conjunction with the Association of Public Safety Communications Officials (APCO) International Convention on August 20 at 6:00 pm.

On May 5, 2012, Sosa’s baby sister was unconscious from a prolonged seizure, so he called 911. Lori Patrick received the call, and recognizing the severity of the emergency, transferred it to Hennepin EMS Dispatcher Tom Polzin.   Thanks to the calm, composed way Sosa described his sister’s symptoms, Polzin was quickly able to assess the situation and send the ambulance.  He then remained on the phone with Sosa until emergency responders arrived.

The 9-1-1 Heroes program brings critical awareness to exemplary 9-1-1 youth and dispatch heroes. The award is bestowed upon a young person who distinguishes himself/herself by gallantry and intrepidity when calling 9-1-1 to help save a life or property or to report a crime. Equally as important, this award is presented to the dispatcher or emergency operators who processed the call and dispatched the appropriate emergency response help.

The award ceremony will take place on Monday, August 20, 2012 from 6:00 pm to 7:00 pm at the Hilton Minneapolis Ballroom; 1001 Marquette Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55403. Media representatives and guests are asked to check in at 6:15. The ceremony will begin at 6:30, with interview and photo opportunities at 7:00 pm.

911 for Kids® is the official emergency caller training program created by US 9-1-1 communication center officials, emergency medical, fire and law enforcement professionals who were charged with the task of developing educational tools to help reduce the alarmingly high numbers of non-emergency calls made to 9-1-1.

The organization was established in 1994, and has uniquely distinguished itself as the only public safety education program to be endorsed and supported by: APCO International (Assn. of Public Safety Communications Officials); E-911 Institute; NENA (National Emergency Numbers Assn.); and NASNA (National Assn. of Nine-one-one Administrators). For more information, please visit www.911forkids.com.

The Hennepin EMS Emergency Communication Center (ECC) is based at Hennepin County Medical Center. The West Medical Resource Control Center (WMRCC) is fully integrated into the daily operations of the Hennepin EMS ECC. Staffed with 15 Emergency Medical Dispatchers, the center provides dispatching services, pre-arrival instruction and resource coordination and information to Hennepin EMS Paramedics, the Hennepin County EMS System, the region and the State of Minnesota.

The ECC is a Secondary Public Safety Answering Point supporting Hennepin EMS Paramedics and managing deployment of up to 16 ambulances. Our Emergency Medical Dispatchers handle nearly 60,000 calls for service each year from the citizens and visitors of Hennepin County, Minnesota. 9-1-1 calls are directed from 8 primary 9-1-1 Public Safety Answering Points that serve the 14 municipalities in the Hennepin EMS primary service area, and the State Patrol. The service area covers 266 square miles and covers a population of over 700,000. In addition, calls are processed from EMS mutual aid partners, health care facilities and direct from the public. For more information, please visit www.hennepinems.org.

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