'Just glad you're here': Son, firefighters, 911 dispatcher honored for saving Wheeling woman's life

Christian Flores called 911 because his mother, Amy, was unconscious and unresponsive.

The 48-year-old Wheeling woman wasn't breathing, either, and she didn't have a pulse.

So, while sending rescue crews to the scene, Regional Emergency Dispatch alarm operator Jacqueline Miller began instructing Flores how to perform CPR. He did so for more than eight minutes until firefighter/paramedics arrived and took over.

Working together, they saved Amy Flores' life.

Christian Flores, Miller and the firefighters who responded to the emergency were publicly lauded during Monday's Wheeling village board meeting for their heroic efforts.

Amy Flores was in the audience and received hearty applause from the crowd when Wheeling Fire Chief Mike McGreal introduced her.

“We're just glad you're here,” McGreal said.

The emergency occurred Aug. 30. Miller fielded the adult son's 911 call, spoke with him about his mom's condition and sent emergency crews to the family's home.

Although some Wheeling firefighters were available to help, all three of the department's ambulances were busy with other emergencies. So Miller ordered a Long Grove ambulance team that was relatively close to head that way, McGreal said.

As they headed to the house, Miller guided Christian Flores through CPR.

“I can't imagine doing CPR on my mom,” McGreal said. “I heard the 911 tape. It's quite touching.”

Wheeling firefighters arrived first and took over CPR. They also used a defibrillator to shock Flores' heart into a proper rhythm, McGreal said. The Long Grove team jumped into the action once they arrived.

The Long Grove crew took Flores to NorthShore Glenbrook Hospital.

During Monday's presentation, McGreal praised the firefighters and Miller for working together despite not ever training together or even using the same emergency medical systems.

Miller was called to the dais to receive a Life Saving Award from Deputy Fire Chief Steve Mella. Christian Flores was unable to attend the presentation but also received a Life Saving Award.

Company Citation Awards were given to Wheeling Fire Department Battalion Chief Mark Menzel, Lt. Jason Macauley, firefighter/paramedic Jeff Goolish and firefighter/emergency medical technician Joe Dina. Company Citation Awards also went to Long Grove firefighter/paramedics Mike Gallagher and Nick McDowell.

Village President Pat Horcher praised the gathered personnel.

“(It's) such an amazing example of what all of you guys do,” Horcher said.

Regional Emergency Dispatch alarm operator Jacqueline Miller, left, receives a Life Saving Award from Wheeling Deputy Fire Chief Steve Mella during Monday's village board meeting, as Chief Mike McGreal, right, speaks about her actions. Miller helped save a Wheeling woman's life in August. Courtesy of Wheeling
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