From left, Weld County dispatcher Laura Schumacher, and four members of Platteville-Gilcrest Fire Protection District.

From left, Weld County dispatcher Laura Schumacher, and four members of Platteville-Gilcrest Fire Protection District. (Photo/Weld County Board of Commissioners)

Morgan McKenzie

Greeley Tribune, Colo.


A longtime Weld County dispatcher received recognition for a lifesaving call in November.

Laura Schumacher has worked as a dispatcher for more than three decades. Her job often entails providing assistance and reassurance to many callers going through their worst days, according to a county news release.

Schumacher also provides information to first responders to facilitate emergency assistance, rarely getting to know the final outcome of calls.

However, an opportunity arose for Schumacher to see the positive impact she made when the Platteville-Gilcrest Fire Protection District presented her with an Emergency Medical Services Star of Life and Lifesaving Commendation late last month.

Schumacher helped facilitate an emergency response to a caller having difficulty breathing and speaking.

After determining the caller needed an ambulance, Schumacher stayed in constant contact using Text-to-911, while relaying critical information, including the caller’s location, condition and type of vehicle the person was calling from.

On arrival, first responders intubated the patient and provided ventilation to prevent respiratory arrest.

Four members of Platteville-Gilcrest Fire Protection District were also recognized for their efforts on the call: paramedic Jesse Keeney, paramedic Ty Anderson, firefighter/EMT Chris Kennison and Lt. Daniel Leonardo.

Matt Concialdi, EMS division chief and public information officer for Platteville-Gilcrest Fire Protection District, said the outcome would not have been possible without Schumacher’s strong work in extremely difficult circumstances.

Because of Schumacher, first responders transported the caller quickly and restored the caller’s airway, according to Concialdi.

“I’ve been doing this 30 years, and this is my first Lifesaving Award,” Schumacher said, explaining that recognition only adds to the gratification she feels every day serving the public. “So, it really is pretty special to have a fire district contact you and recognize you for your outstanding job.

“There’s really not a day that I leave work where I don’t get to feel like, ‘Hey, you did something good today.'”

The EMS Star of Life, trademarked in 1977, was designed to recognize six elements that represent the true meaning of the EMS system: detection, reporting, response, on-scene care, care in transit and transfer to definitive care.

In 2017, Weld County launched Text-to-911, a tool for people who need to make contact with 911 when speaking is not an option or may put them in danger. To learn more, go to

“Our dispatchers have long made our Weld County Regional Communications Center one of the best in the nation, and that is a credit to the work of staff in being the first point of contact for so many going through emergency situations,” Weld County Commissioner Chairman Scott James said in the release. “We’re proud of Laura’s positive impact, and we know that this recognition further speaks to the strength of Public Safety Communications as a whole.”


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