Good Guy OnStar Dispatcher Helps Save Woman's Life

OnStar — it's not just for Batman anymore! (Does anyone remember that? No? Okay, forget it.) And one woman says she's glad she had the system on her car after an OnStar dispatcher found a clever way to save her life last year when she wasn't able to communicate.

GM says it went down like this: Last year, NaToysha Reed was experiencing chest pains, spurring her to drive to the hospital with her 3-year-old daughter. While en route, she suffered a severe asthma attack that left her unable to talk. She managed to call her mother, who was familiar with her condition, and connect to OnStar for emergency assistance.

A dispatcher summoned first responders to Reed's vehicle while another dispatcher, Bryan Anta, stayed on the line with her. While Anta was trained to provide emergency medical instructions over the phone before ambulances arrive, Reed's inability to talk and her baby crying in the background presented a potentially deadly problem.

So Anta got a clever idea: he instructed Reed to honk her car's horn once for yes and twice for no. Once they could communicate, Anta was able to instruct her on breathing techniques and then keep her calm until medics arrived.

It's not the first time Anta's done stuff like this, GM says. He also once gave CPR instructions to a woman whose husband had a heart attack in the vehicle, an incident he survived.

For his quick thinking, Anta was given an award Thursday by the International Academy of Emergency Dispatch, and I say he deserves it. Some purists may grouse about technology in new cars, but there's no disputing their ability to save lives. Nice job, Bryan!