He managed in 5 minutes to save the life of a baby who was barely breathing by telling the parents step by step what to do over the phone. To ISU Cluj dispatcher Florin Oneț, 38 years old, it seemed to him that everything lasted forever. What advice does she have for parents of young children?
Florin Oneț, on the day he saved the child from death. Photo source: ISU Cluj
Tuesday morning, 09.00. Non-commissioned officer Florin Oneț was on duty when he received a call that he will never forget, he says. “According to the woman, who was the child's aunt, he had choked on milk. “Is the baby breathing?” I asked her. “Breathe, but hard,” he answered. At that moment, I realized that if I didn't intervene then, later it might be… too late”the man told “The Truth”.
While the ambulance was on its way, Florin told the woman exactly what to do.
“I asked her to put the phone on speaker, take the baby in her arms and pat him on the back”. During the call, however, the dispatcher realized that the situation was getting worse. The little one didn't react in any way. “I told the woman to place the child on his father's arm, face down and slightly bent, and give him a few strokes between the shoulder blades.” The little one's aunt followed the instructions exactly, and soon the baby began to breathe deeply and peacefully. “I was on the phone with the lady for about four, maybe five minutes. But it seemed to take forever. It was, I think, one of the most intense moments, of a terrible emotional charge”the dispatcher testified.
Florin Oneț is the father of a five-month-old boy and is preparing for baptism. He wanted to convey some advice to parents, especially those with small children. As from parent to parent.
“If we have a small child, a baby let's say, who is drowning and we can't call for help at that moment, we will have to fend for ourselves. And we have to know what we have to do. They are simple maneuvers that anyone can put into practice and that could save lives. Specifically, if the little one drowns, he sits on his forearm, slightly bent and face down. Then, with the bridge of the palm, five stronger blows are administered between the shoulder blades, but without causing any damage. We then check if the maneuver worked. If not, it resumes. If the baby starts crying, everything is fine, it is out of any danger. It means he has a clear airway.”
Most of the time, following this maneuver, the child eliminates the liquid or object that initially blocked his airways. This is exactly what happened in the case of the baby saved by Florin.
A man's life depends on your decision
What was in the soul of the young man in those minutes on which the child's life practically depended? “I didn't have time to think about myself. To what I feel, to the emotions that try me. In those moments, you are so focused on what you have to do that you don't think about anything else. There is no time to be afraid. There is no time for hesitation. Any second of delay, a reaction from you that does not come in time, a stutter, an indication that is perhaps too vague… all these can make the difference between life and death”said the savior.
Usually the person calling and asking for help is very panicked.
“A mother, for example, with a child who is no longer breathing… oh well drowned with milk, with a toy, that something else has happened… you, as the dispatcher, have to calm her down first. How? First of all, you must be very calm. You ask her what happened, you tell her that the Ambulance is on the way and you explain what she has to do until the rescuers come. You ask her what the child choked on, if he has other health problems, how long he has been in that condition… if he is breathing… then, after realizing the situation, you have weighed its seriousness… you decide what to do Further. A life may depend on your decision. Is it very difficult. But in the end, after all is well, you are happy. It is difficult to describe in words what you feel, what you experience in your soul after such interventions, especially if it is about children”. he explained.
Florin knows what he is talking about, because he is a parent himself. Maybe that's why he lives such moments so intensely and gets so involved in what he does. And the young non-commissioned officer is not in the first case of this kind.
“There have been other cases with happy endings and I am very happy. They are quite sensitive cases for me, among the most sensitive. No matter how experienced you are, how hardened you are or trained… then, in those moments, it's just you and the victim whose life you're trying to save.”
Florin saved many people. Also from the other end of the phone.
“I helped the relatives perform the resuscitation maneuvers correctly and everything always ended well. And for that I thank God. If I can help one person with just a few words, I'm happy. When the ambulance crew tells me on the phone “Florine, everything is fine”, then nothing matters anymore. It gives you such a… special feeling, you feel like you've really done something. That you leave behind you a new life”.
The dispatcher takes about 50 calls a day
Florin Oneț was employed by SMURD at Huedin from 2006 to 2018.And on discharge and extinguishment. Then, I moved to Cluj. There was a vacancy in the dispatcher and I decided to try here as well. My colleagues also helped me a lot. In Cluj there are many more cases, there is a much greater flow of calls, but I tried to keep up, I got used to it and I liked it”, Florin Oneț also told.
The NCO told us that in 12 hours of work he can average up to 50 calls. “Most of them come from people whose lives are in danger. Let's talk about fires, road accidents, a sheet falling from a roof, a child who choked on something… There are days and days. Some quieter, others, like the one on Tuesday, more agitated. You never know what's going to happen not that day, but the next minute.”