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Young Roanyn during the holidays.

SRPD Dispatcher Recognized for Saving Young Boy’s Life

Salt River Police Dispatcher II Luisa Ika was recognized at a recent Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community Council meeting for helping to save the life of a young Community member.

Ika received the Salt River Police Department Lifesaving Award on August 17.

On July 22, toward the end of Ika’s shift, an emergency phone call came in regarding an unresponsive infant. Ika provided vital CPR instructions over the phone to the infant’s mother, Georgia Goodwin. Her quick action and thorough instructions played a key role in reviving young Roanyn.

The emergency call lasted five to seven minutes.

Roanyn had had a fever earlier that day and was given medicine because he had been teething.

Goodwin said, “He was fine when I picked him up. His dad was going to take him to the hospital just to get checked out and make sure it was his teeth, so he went to start the car and I went to turn around for a minute. His dad came in and laid by Roanyn and said, ‘Georgia, something’s wrong.’ I went to check. I rolled [Roanyn] on his back and he was not responding.”

At first, Goodwin was in survival mode. “I thought, ‘Wait, what do I do? Can I do it? Am I doing it right?” she said.

Goodwin called 911.

She tried to do CPR herself, but the bed was too soft, so she moved the baby to the floor. “[I was] screaming for my brother, who was in the other room. He ran in and Roanyn was still not responding. He was actually turning color, so I told his dad Juan to tell the dispatcher he was not breathing. She then said to put the phone on speaker and walked me through CPR,” said Goodwin.

The paramedics arrived shortly after; in the meantime, Ika kept reassuring Goodwin that they were almost there.

“I could hear the dispatcher Luisa the whole time, instructing us to keep calm and [saying] everything was gonna be OK,” she said. “The whole time she was clear, calm and reassuring.”

Acting Chief of Police Karl G. Auerbach presented the award to Ika, stating, “Dispatcher Ika’s actions reflect great credit upon the Salt River Pima-Maricopa Indian Community, the Salt River Police Department, our SRPD Communications Division and herself and exemplify lifesaving actions consistent with our Salt River Police Department’s mission statement of Service, Respect, Professionalism and Dedication.”

Ika said there were no words that could explain the feeling when she finally met Roanyn.

“I helped a person save [a] life and there was no better feeling than to see them both,” Ika said. “The type of work we do is very stressful, but this would have to be the highlight of what I do—saving someone and getting them the help that they needed. I am just grateful to work with the group of people that I do. We are very short-staffed right now, but we work as a team and work well. I also think of them as my family.”

Ika said her department receives “quite a few” calls, but most are not emergencies. “Calls like this are not that often where we have to walk people through the CPR instructions,” she said.

Today, Roanyn is in good health, Goodwin said. The boy suffered a febrile seizure.

“The reason they said he had this episode was his fever; some children get fevers that their body just can’t [handle],” she said.

It took about two weeks for Roanyn to fully recover. Afterward, the family took him to Disneyland.

“I couldn’t have done it without her—as I relive this memory, I can still hear her voice,” Goodwin said. “I am glad we got a chance to meet at the Council meeting that night she received her award. I had a moment when I broke down, and she gave encouragement and helped me refocus. Together we all had a hand in saving my son’s life: his dad, my brother and Luisa.”

In November, Ika will celebrate her seventh anniversary with the department.

“I feel very honored and blessed to be able to work for a great Community. I was not expecting the recognition,” Ika said. “I just thought I was doing my job, to serve the Community. [The recognition] was very unexpected, but I am very honored.”