Pictured Above: Terrebonne Parish Communications District Board Vice Chairman Lt. Aaron Hebert presents dispatcher Dominique Bonvillain with a Smart 911 SmartSave Award.
A program that was implemented in Lafourche and Terrebonne parishes last November that allows residents to create an online profile t0 provide emergency information to first responders may have saved a man's life earlier this year, officials said.
A dispatcher for Terrebonne Parish 911 said she received a call from a frantic woman asking for help on the morning of Feb. 26.
The caller said her male roommate was unconscious but breathing but was unaware of his medical history and asked 911 to send an ambulance.
Dominique Bonvillain, who has been a dispatcher for the parish for 18 years, said it can sometimes be difficult to get the information she needs to help the person in need.
“It's not unusual for us to have to begin a call by calming someone down enough so they can tell us where they are and what their emergency is,” she said.
Because the woman on the line had used her roommate's cellphone to place the 911 call, Bonvillain was able to pull up the Smart 911 profile he had created and tied to that number.
“He had provided us with the information we needed ahead of time. It very well could have saved his life,” she said.
Bonvillain noticed the man's profile said he suffered from diabetes. With that information, Acadian Ambulance responders were able to check his blood-sugar levels and transport him to Terrebonne General Medical Center.
The man made a full recovery, and Bonvillain received an award for her involvement.
“Dominique did exactly what she needed to do, and that was use every tool at her disposal in order to quickly assess the situation and send help to the citizen in need,” said Bonvillain's supervisor, Gregory Hood Jr.
Bonvillain has been awarded a Smart 911 SmartSave Award, which recognizes dispatchers who effectively use such information when responding to an emergency.
Terrebonne Parish 911 officials said they want more people to sign up for the free profiles.
“In a medical emergency, every second can be the difference between life and death,” said Mark Boudreaux, Terrebonne Parish 911 director. “The fact that the EMS crew knew where to start with their assessment of the patient puts them steps ahead of where they would have been otherwise. I commend this citizen for taking the time to sign up for Smart911. It had an immense impact on the response we were able to provide to him.”
Smart911 profiles can be created online at www.smart911.com.