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Illinois Heart Rescue Awards Exceptional 9-1-1 Call Takers

Chicago, IL – April 18, 2024—The Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) held an awards ceremony on Thursday to honor the exceptional efforts of newly graduated 9-1-1 call takers and dispatchers and those who have demonstrated exemplary service in their roles.

Courtney Schwerin O'Reilly, Executive Director of Illinois Heart Rescue, recognized the outstanding performance of Brandy McClintock, Thomas McMahon, Jeremiah Melton, and Jenna Cody. Each for their telecommunicator-directed CPR, a critical early response technique that significantly enhances the survival chances of cardiac arrest victims before emergency responders arrive on the scene.

Illinois Heart Rescue (ILHR) is a program pioneered by the University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) College of Medicine under the leadership of Dr. Terry Vanden Hoek, Chair of Emergency Medicine. Dr. Vanden Hoek, renowned for his expertise in emergency medicine and cardiology, has been a driving force behind the initiative. ILHR aims to dramatically improve survival rates from out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) across Illinois through comprehensive training, public education, and innovative research.

The partnership between Illinois Heart Rescue and OEMC has been instrumental in integrating advanced CPR techniques into the protocols used by emergency dispatch personnel in Chicago. This collaboration ensures that every 9-1-1 call related to cardiac arrest is met with immediate and effective guidance, significantly improving the chances of survival.