911 dispatcher helps save Johnston Mayor’s husband over the phone


JOHNSTON – The story of how one Iowa woman helped a caller she never thought she’d meet. Now, the two have an incredible bond. it comes with a lesson we can all learn from. 

Johnston Mayor Paula Dierenfeld had just gotten off a flight and rushed to a City Council meeting with her husband. Besides the stress of flight delays, the day was normal. Later that night when her husband Dave picked her up, the day quickly turned into one she’ll never forget.

August 6, 2018 is the day Johnston Mayor Paula Dierenfeld and her husband Dave will never forget. “We got about two blocks from City Hall when he said I’m not feeling good.” “He fell over onto the steering wheel and said I have to call 911.”

Polk County Dispatcher Jamie Xayavong was on the other side of that call. 

Jamie says “she was very anxious wondering what was taking so long, why I was asking so many questions, while I was working very hard getting the first responders out the door.” 

While help was on the way, Jamie walked Mayor Dierenfeld through CPR. That CPR and Jamie’s nurturing and care saved his life. 

This is a day that neither Jamie or Mayor Dierenfield will forget. The Mayor hopes this scary incident serves as a reminder to everyone at home. Knowing CPR and quick first aid can save someone’s life. It’s something she’s glad she knows now. 

“You know she’s my hero… she uh, and she’s been the hero for many many other people, so thank God we have many, many other people with those skills.” 

Have you learned how to perform CPR yet? If not, it’s not too late. There are many opportunities around Iowa for you to learn. Attached below are links to get you headed in the right direction. 

Des Moines – Mercy College of Health Sciences 

West Des Moines – WDSM EMS Online CPR classes 

AnkenyRed Cross CPR/AED &/or First Aid – 04/25/19 

AmesCPR/AED 7/or First Aid – 05/20/19 

And many more can be found at the Iowa CPR website. 

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