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911 Officers Help Save Babies Over The Phone

January 26, 1985

BOSTON (AP) _ Policemen manning 911 emergency telephone lines in two Massachusetts towns saved the lives of two ill children in recent weeks by guiding the children’s mothers in mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Framingham Patrolman Earl Zinck was at the 911 phone early Friday when he got a frantic call from Mona Dabbon, who said her 10-month-old son had stopped breathing.

″I have a baby here that’s turning blue,″ said Ms. Dabbon, 36. ″He can’t breathe and I don’t know what it is.″

Zinck, a 27-year veteran and father of three, quickly commanded another officer to take over his phone duties, then calmed the woman and told her to lay the baby on his back.

Following his instructions, Ms. Dabbon breathed into the infant’s mouth. Before emergency medical technicians could get to the scene, the baby was breathing again.

″He’s coming back,″ the mother shouted, according to a tape of the conversation. ″He’s playing. Now he’s fine. I can’t believe this.″

Weymouth Patrolman Arthur Stone had a similar call two weeks before.

″Help me. My daughter, she’s got a fever. She’s convulsing. I don’t know what to do. She’s not breathing,″ said a woman who called the emergency number at 9:21 p.m. on Jan. 11.

″She’s turning purple. Please, tell me what to do.″

For the next 11 minutes, Stone guided Rachel Mulloy through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation to her 2-year-old daughter, Melissa.

″Just push down in her chest very gently and puff into her mouth, OK,″ said Stone, a 15-year veteran of the force. ″Just put the puffs right down into her mouth. Cover her mouth with your mouth and just puff into it, five times.″

″She’s opening her eyes,″ came the answer a few minutes later.

″Good, that’s what we want to see,″ said the officer.

″She’s starting to cry,″ the mother said.

″That’s good,″ said Stone. ″If she’s crying, she’s breathing.″

By the time the ambulance arrived, the girl was breathing on her own, but she was taken to a local hospital to be treated for a 104.7-degree fever.

Stone said the minutes he spent helping Ms. Mulloy ″were the longest minutes I ever spent on the phone.″

But, he added, ″I’m not a hero. I don’t want to be called a hero. ... I get paid for what I did.″

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