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Friday, April 19, 2013

Family thankful for City of Calgary emergency communications officer

Laporte family thank Emergency Communications Officer, Rhonda Osadczuk (right)
Pat and Leah Laporte will never forget January 18 ,2013. What could very well have been the most tragic day of their lives, turned out to have a happy ending thanks to a very capable team of emergency and medical professionals.

Pat was woken at 5 a frantic Leah, who at 39 weeks pregnant was losing blood. Stumbling from bed, Pat dialled 9-1-1 and his call was quickly answered by Public Safety Communications (PSC) Emergency Communications Officer Rhonda Osadczuk, a new employee who had been answering calls on her own for just two weeks. Pat explained to her what was happening and Rhonda quickly moved through protocol questions while arranging for an ambulance to be dispatched. She then stayed on the line with Pat, keeping him calm and giving him instructions. It took just six minutes for the ambulance to arrive.

After the terrifying ordeal was over and Pat's healthy son Liam was safely born he sent a letter to all the individuals involved in his son's birth – the 9-1-1 emergency communications officer, the paramedics, the doctors and the nurses.

“It was literally minutes either way deciding the outcome of my son’s future. The care he received gave him a future, and made my January 18th only terrifying, not life-shattering,” said proud dad Pat.

To celebrate National Public Safety Telecommunications Week (April 14-20), the Laporte family visited Calgary’s Public Safety Communications 9-1-1 centre, where they were able to meet Rhonda. A few tears were shed when the family presented Rhonda with the Lifesaver Pin – a special token given to emergency communications officers - along with a photo of Liam with a special message on the back thanking Rhonda for saving his life.

“Meeting Rhonda was so awesome,” explained Leah. “You go through such a crazy experience and most of the people that helped you, you never get to say thank you in person or give them a hug. It was really satisfying to be able to do that.”

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