OC woman saves husband's life with help of newly-hired 911 dispatcher

Amy Powell Image
Saturday, August 12, 2023
OC woman saves husband's life with help of newly-hired 911 dispatcher
The man's wife witnessed him collapse and immediately called 911. She was able to perform CPR on him with the help of dispatchers until paramedics arrived.

RANCHO SANTA MARGARITA, Calif. (KABC) -- A newly hired 911 dispatcher in Orange County helped save a man's life - despite having just a few months' worth of experience.

Steve Kielty and his wife Sharon met with Orange County Fire Authority paramedics and dispatchers for their quick action during a life-threatening emergency last month.

Sharon called 911 when her 62-year-old husband went into full cardiac arrest, collapsing at their Rancho Santa Margarita home.

Dispatcher Chris Carvalho, a trainee, was on the other end of the line and calmly gave Sharon instructions during the frightening ordeal. Eyewitness News obtained the audio from the 911 call, which painted a harrowing scene.

"Oh my God, he's like purple!" Sharon tells Carvalho.

"Ok. I need you to stay with me, ok? I need you to say, 'Now,' every time he takes a breath, ok?" said the young dispatcher.

Sharon performed CPR on her husband until paramedics arrived. Stephen was quickly rushed to the hospital and has since fully recovered.

"We're really, really grateful for everything that you guys did and being here so quickly," she said.

She then told Carvalho, "Never would have known you were a newbie."

Carvalho remained calm and did what he signed up to do.

"I just gave the instructions so most of the credit should go to her," he said. "She effectively kept her husband alive."

The crew that saved Steve's life included Captain Josh Feldman, firefighter paramedics Dylan Marquez, Gentry Phillips and dispatcher Josh Miller.

Meanwhile, authorities continue to urge people to learn CPR.

READ ALSO | CPR can triple chance of surviving cardiac arrest. Here's how to learn hands-only CPR in LA County