A 911 Dispatcher Demonstrates the Importance of Remaining Calm in Stressful Situations

In moments of stressful situations and traumatic experiences, it’s a natural human reaction to become frantic and panic. Research has shown, however, that remaining calm is a key component of a successful outcome since the brain is more capable of reacting and making intelligent, well-thought decisions.

People who serve in the military are a prime example of this. Given the nature of their work, military personnel are often times subjected to stressful, dangerous environments, where panicking can mean the difference between life and death. But by remaining calm on the battlefield, these brave men and women are able to make rational decisions that help to ensure the safety of both themselves and those serving in their units.

This same theory was recently proven when 911 dispatcher Angela Sherrod received a call from a frantic grandmother who was pleading for help. The grandmother had found her 18 month old granddaughter unconscious in the swimming pool.

Sherrod’s training allowed her to assist the grandmother while emergency services were in route. She reminded the grandmother to remain calm before instructing her to turn the baby to her side and make sure her airways were clear of water and vomit. Sherrod then walked the grandmother through how to perform emergency CPR. After a few minutes, she heard the cry of the child on the other end of the phone, which was music to her ears since it meant the baby was breathing again.

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While Sherrod admits that it’s all just a part of doing her job, it’s a prime example of how staying calm under pressure can lead to a much different outcome than actions that stem from panic and fear. Staying cool, calm and collected is a necessary trait for any 911 dispatcher. An equally important task for dispatchers is trying to get the person on the other end of the phone to do the same.