Beverley Logan

Best Practices

By Beverley Logan

A two pence (2p) coin hidden in a sofa cushion brought far more than Zoe Scott could have ever bargained for without even spending it.

And, the North West Ambulance Service, NHS Trust, EMD couldn’t be more delighted that it worked out that way.

The story begins with 2-year-old Archie Davies who was watching TV and, like kids his age, exploring the world with his hands and finding small stuff between the cushions of the settee that might taste good. This time, however, his find wasn’t something edible; it was a 2p coin he found and put in his mouth that, when he leaned back, lodged in his throat.

The toddler was in obvious dismay, quickly alerting his mom, Vicky Martin, to the emergency. She frantically dialed 999, and Scott, answering the call, provided PAIs for the abdominal thrusts that ultimately dislodged the coin and saved his life.

Martin was, of course, elated.

“I’ve never been so frightened in my life,” Martin said, according to an article in the Great Manchester Evening News (published June 18, 2015). “Zoe answered my 999 call and somehow managed to completely calm me down and talked me through exactly what I needed to do. She was able to convince me that it was going to work. That day Zoe turned up for work, we found our guardian angel.”

Archie was able to meet his guardian angel in person when Scott visited their home to meet the family. Mom gave Scott a bouquet of red roses, daisies, and irises and thanked her profusely for the over-the-phone PAIs and reassuring voice.

“When Archie had the 2p coin stuck in his throat, as you can imagine, I was in a complete state of hysteria,” said Martin, as quoted in the same article. “Without her calming influence and prompt instructions, I know for a fact that my little boy would have died. He wasn’t far off when we got the coin out.”

Scott was equally delighted by the outcome and the opportunity to meet the people she had helped while doing her job.

“It was great to meet Archie and his mum,” Scott told the reporter from the Great Manchester Evening News. “Things like this make my job worthwhile and it’s lovely to feel appreciated.”

Scott received the UK NAVIGATOR IAED Dispatcher of the Year Award at the conference held Sept. 22–24 in Bristol, England.

Louise Todd, Clinical Support Officer, Priority Dispatch Corp., said Scott is a credit to the profession and the Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS).

“Zoe has faced this and many other distressing calls over the course of her career; however, she continually demonstrates the ability to work well under stress,” Todd said. “She has demonstrated compliance to protocol and strives to continuously achieve this.”

According to her nomination, Scott “demonstrated with this call, and the many others that she takes every day, that she puts the needs of the public above her own. The media interest that this story gained due to Zoe’s actions assisted in improving the public understanding of emergency dispatching.” She is a strong team player and “a positive influence to her colleagues in demonstrating the standard expected of our EMDs.”