911 dispatcher thanked for life-saving directions

Charleston County Consolidated 911 Center dispatcher Joselyn May (left) greets Zan Deitz on Tuesday in County Council chambers. May instructed Deitz in how to perform CPR on her husband, John Deitz, which saved his life.

“She is my guardian angel.”

That is how west Ashley resident Zan Deitz described Charleston County Consolidated 911 Center dispatcher Joselyn May.

“You don’t know what 911 means until you have to call,” Deitz said Tuesday.

Deitz’s husband, John Deitz, 73, was having a heart attack when his wife phoned 911 desperate for help. She was hysterical and didn’t know CPR. May calmed her and told her how to resuscitate her husband until EMS arrived.

“She saved my life,” John Deitz said of May.

He and his wife were tearful as they greeted May for the first time in County Council chambers.

May said it was wonderful to meet the couple after dealing with them in such stressful circumstances.

“It’s difficult but I try to be a calming voice,” she said.

Also, Charleston County officials said the 911 Center now has a new capability to receive text messages from the public.

County 9-1-1 Director Jim Lake said the Text-to-911 service is for those facing a situation where it could be dangerous to make a voice call such as during a domestic violence incident.

Text-to-911 will also benefit the deaf, Lake said.

Dorchester County plans to offer Text-to-911 service beginning on June 15. Berkeley County will offer the service in the September to October time frame, officials said.

To use the service, 911 is placed in the address field for the text. The address or location and the nature of the emergency is then texted to the 9-1-1 Center.

A few other counties in South Carolina have the 911 texting service, officials said.

Reach Prentiss Findlay at 937-5711.