Jessyca Medveduke is often the first person you speak to when you call for help

Posted On Wednesday March 17, 2021
Jessyca Medveduke is a Police Communicator
Jessyca Medveduke is a Police Communicator

As a Police Communicator at Ottawa Police Service (OPS), I am often the first person someone speaks to when they call for help. I never know who the next caller will be - a loved one asking for a wellness check on someone they can’t reach, a frantic call about a robbery in progress or maybe a collision with injuries, in which case I will dispatch fire and paramedics along with police. One evening after work I was driving home in the middle of the night. I passed a man stumbling on the side of the road. Looking in my rear-view mirror, I saw him clutching his throat. I called 911 to report a man who might be in distress. I turned my car around. I spoke to the man from my vehicle while remaining on the phone with 911. The man began to choke, and an OPS officer who had just arrived performed the Heimlich maneuver. As I continued home, I wondered what the chances were that I would be in that spot exactly when this person needed help. Two other cars drove by without stopping. I think a lot of people figure someone else will call. Please don’t make that assumption. Phone and let Police Communicators assess the situation. Maybe it doesn’t turn out to be an emergency or we get more than one call, but that’s better than not getting one at all. You could save someone’s life.