Feature image: Source: Greg Stolz, The Courier-Mail / QAS Dispatcher Chantal “Tilly” Hersel
It was only Chantal “Tilly” Hersel’s second shift as a medical emergency dispatcher for the Queensland Ambulance Service (QAS).
She didn’t realise it would be her most memorable – and have her nominated for an award.
In October last year, Ms Hersel took a frantic phone call from a lady whose 74-year-old partner had fallen off their house roof and gone into cardiac arrest.
“I had to focus all my attention on giving CPR and how important giving CPR is in an emergency like this… fortunately I was able to reassure her that she could do it… and I was going to be there with her every step of the way,” she said.
Ms Hersel tried her best to remain calm instructing the caller how to perform CPR until the paramedics arrived stabilising the patient who was flown to hospital with critical injuries. It wasn’t until a month later she received a letter from the caller.
“[She told] me I was her angel on the day and that he actually survived the whole accident, I was so proud of her ‘cause it was her that saved her partner’s life,” Ms Hersel said.
Recently finding out her calm and helpful instructions as a QAS dispatcher had landed her a nomination for the eighth annual 2022 QBANK Everyday Hero Awards, Ms Hersel explained she found it quite surreal and humbling.
“I didn’t expect to receive this type of recognition, I’m very overwhelmed and honoured. We don’t usually get recognition for our job… and to hear what a huge impact it had on her family it signifies how rewarding this role can be,” she said.
“We don’t usually get recognition for our job… and to hear what a huge impact it had on her family it signifies how rewarding this role can be,” – 2022 QBANK Everyday Hero Award recipient Chantal “Tilly” Hersel
Previously having worked for Virgin Australia, it was a big career change for Ms Hersel as she decided to delve into a role at QAS that allowed her to be there to help others.
“It’s been quite a change and been a very rewarding one at times you get a variety of calls every single day and every single one is different and you’re impacting someone’s life every single time,” Ms Hersel said.
The QBANK Everyday Hero Awards highlights the untold stories of Queensland Police, Ambulance, Fire, Health, Corrections, Justice and Public Service workers who go above and beyond in their dedication and hard work to protect and serve the community.
Finalists are selected under six award categories – Achievement, Ownership, Dedication, Working Together, Excellence and The Young Everyday Hero Award – by highly respected industry judges who have shown professional commitment and community dedication.
Nominations can be made by anyone in the community, if you know someone who deserves to be recognised for their commitment and contributions to the community click here.