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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Dispatcher saves mother, wins regional award

  • Saline County Sheriff Keith Brown presented an award from SMART911 to Telecommunicator Nicole Stricklin Monday at the Saline County Law Enforcement and Detention Center.
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  • Saline County Sheriff Keith Brown presented an award from SMART911 to Telecommunicator Nicole Stricklin Monday at the Saline County Law Enforcement and Detention Center.
    Stricklin stopped by her mother's house in Harrisburg on June 7, 2012. While at the residence Stricklin's  mother stopped breathing. Nicole called her own dispatch center in Harrisburg and requested an ambulance. While waiting for the ambulance Nicole administered CPR to her mother.
    "I wasn't scared," said Stricklin. "I was concentrating on what I was trained to do and I blocked out the fact that she was my mother. It was not certain that she would make it. For at least three weeks she had a tube in her lungs. When they took it out, she began talking and we knew she was going to be all right.
    "I am confident in my training," said Stricklin. 
    Stricklin's mother was taken to Harrisburg Medical Center and flown to Deaconess Hospital in Evansville, Ind. She remained in the hospital on a ventilator for three weeks. She was later transferred to Select Hospital in Evansville for four weeks. She has since returned home and is again living on her own.
    Stricklin was nominated for an award by SMART911. On April 1 SMART911 opened balloting and Stricklin competed against two other dispatchers in the Central Region and 11 others nationally. She won the award for the Central Region.
    The first place national winner was a telecommunicator who handled the calls from Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton Connecticut.

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