Roger Brinkman called 911 in desperate need of help when he could not find a pulse on his unresponsive wife, Jan.

Bartholomew County Emergency Operations dispatcher Dylan Prather used a variety skills to keep the Columbus man focused on administering CPR to his wife for nearly 10 minutes until paramedics arrived on June 23, 2016.

After firefighters and emergency medical technicians got to the scene and took over, Jan Brinkman was transported to Columbus Regional Hospital, where nurses and doctors were able to save her life.

“I feel like I owe my life to Dylan because he kept Roger calm,” Jan Brinkman, a local Realtor, said Monday.

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On Monday, the couple stood next to Prather, who will begin classes at the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy next month, as he was honored among six current or former Bartholomew County dispatchers during National Telecommunicator’s Week. Recognition was made during this week’s Bartholomew County Commissioners meeting.

Prather, however, said it was Roger Brinkman who really deserves the credit for saving his wife’s life.

Here are three other examples when the work of local dispatchers made a difference, sometimes between life and death, said Ed Reuter, the county’s 911 Emergency Operations Center director.

Jan. 11, 2017: Following a Bartholomew County bank robbery, dispatchers Tony McClain, Shannon Stuart, Kelly Wilhite and Emily Moore worked as a team gathering critical information and disseminating it to police, Reuter said. By gathering information from many sources, their efforts were instrumental in letting pursuing officers know where the suspected robber’s vehicle was located, which helped police apprehend the suspect — who fled the Edinburgh area — in Indianapolis.

Jan. 6, 2017: After receiving a 911 text message from a frightened woman, dispatcher Amanda Aird maintained constant communications with her while keeping officers apprised of an escalating domestic situation. Aird is credited with the arrest of an assailant for battery and strangulation, and perhaps preventing the woman from suffering severe injuries.

Aug. 16, 2016: Also through the use of text messages, McClain was able to notify people living in a northern Bartholomew County residence that they had a person in their home wanted on a felony warrant that was considered a threat to them. With the responses, McClain was able to relay details to officers that enabled them to enter the home and arrest the suspect without threatening others in the residence.

Bartholomew County is one of many areas nationally that strive to recognize the importance of emergency dispatchers during the national week, Reuter said.

The recognition, in part, is to maintain well-trained professionals, Reuter said.

By the numbers

Since opening in July 2001, the Bartholomew County Emergency Operation 911 Center has processed:

  • More than 2.7 million telephone transactions.
  • Almost 476,000 of those calls involved emergencies.
  • Received 569 inbound text messages for assistance over the past three years.
  • Sent out more than 17,000 text messages to establish contact.
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Mark Webber is a reporter for The Republic. He can be reached at mwebber@therepublic.com or 812-379-5636.