Amarillo dispatcher honored for helping woman during time of crisis

Amarillo dispatcher honored for helping woman during time of crisis
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA
Source: KFDA

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - An Amarillo dispatcher was recognized this week for helping a woman in a time of crisis.

Bonnie Barnett received the Quick Quack and Welcome Pardner First Responder of Distinction award on Friday.

"It's kind of amazing it was just a big surprise," said Barnett.

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She was nominated by Lori Newsome, who said Barnett walked her through CPR when she found her husband unresponsive.

Newsome wrote the following letter to Welcome Pardner to nominate Barnett:

It takes a special person to do the job you do. To take control, give directions and calm this hysterical woman down. On January 25th, 2017 I woke in a nightmare, I found my husband unresponsive in his recliner. I made that terrifying phone call to 911. Bonnie you answered my call that morning, you instructed me to get him out of his recliner, then you asked if I knew CPR. I had taken a CPR class several years ago, but at that moment, I couldn't remember anything. You walked me through CPR and stayed with me on the phone until the paramedics arrived. God has our lives planned out from the minute we are born, and it was in his plans to take my husband home that morning. Bonnie, I can't thank you enough for your compassion and professionalism at 6:15 in the morning. You were truly my ultimate First Responder. I thank God for making people like you.

"I do remember the call and sometimes I try to explain to people when they tell me what's happened," said Barnett. "We help you on your worst day, and I try to be cognizant of what's going on because I realize these people it's their worst day. This is the worst thing that's probably every going to happen to them in their life or they wouldn't be calling. I take enjoyment from those calls or I feel good about doing it because I know I helped somebody when they really needed it."

While Newsome's husband did not survive, she said she was thankful for Barnett's support on the other end of the line.

Something Barnett said she appreciates.

"Nobody ever thinks about who's on the end of that phone call," said Barnett. "You're only going to see the police, you're going to see the ambulance, you're going to see the fire department, and the worst part of it is, is we never know what happens. But it's nice to be recognized for something that we did that was good. Because you see all this stuff on the radio and on the TV where something bad has happened and the dispatcher is the first one  you get to blame."

The two met for the first time at the monthly Welcome Pardner breakfast.

"It was very different because we don't usually meet anybody, I mean, I've never met anybody I've talked to on the phone so it was amazing," said Barnett. "I'm sorry that  we had to meet in such a terrible circumstance, but you know at least I know we left her with a positive picture of what we do and that we are there to help."

If you would like to nominate someone for the Quick Quack and Welcome Pardner First Responder of Distinction award, email

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