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Dispatcher honored for saving a life while shopping at Wal-Mart

On this week's Salute the Badge, we profile a northwest Missouri dispatcher who was honored for saving a man's life when she least expected it.

Posted: Nov 6, 2019 7:48 PM

Abby Howard has been working as a communications operator for the Missouri State Highway Patrol Troop H headquarters for the last four years . She never was in a real life-saving situation until August 2, 2019 when she came to the assistance of Jordan Samsone.

"I've got out of work and went to Wal-Mart to grab for my children some school supplies," Howard said. "While I was paying for my items, I heard a loud noise from behind me. When I turned around, there was a gentleman on the ground."

Samsone wasn't feeling well that day but still reported to work at Pepsi. He was making his rounds when suffered from cardiac arrest and collapsed.

"I remembered talking to my wife and getting something to drink," Samsone said. "I don't remember anything after that for four to five days. I was in the ICU for six days."

Howard stopped what she was doing and went to Sameone's aid. She immediately called 911 and performed CPR which helped saved his life.

"I had to jump into action and needed to do something. I didn't know what that something was but had to," Howard said. "I followed the instructions from emergency responders. They got there and transport him to the hospital. Now he's here today."

On Wednesday, Howard was given the Department of Public Safety Civilian Employee of the Month Award for her efforts. For her family and friends, she's a hero to them but she says it was all part of the job.

"Hopefully anyone else in my position would have done the same," Howard said.

"She deserves it. She's definitely a hero in our family," Samsone said.

Howard also got an extra vacation day for her act. She hopes sharing her story will encourage others to receive basic life-saving training like CPR.

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A few areas of frost are possible this morning as temperatures have fallen into the mid 30s. Today temperatures will remain below average with highs in the upper 50s and lower 60s under mostly sunny skies. A few clouds will move back into the area tonight as temperatures dip down into the mid to lower 30s. Areas of frost will be possible again early Thursday morning. Conditions will stay relatively the same on Thursday with highs in the upper 50s under mostly sunny skies. Rain chances will move back into the area on Friday, mainly through the afternoon and evening keeping temperatures in the lower 50s. A few rain showers could linger through early Saturday morning before moving out of the area. Sunday looks to be a dry and mild day with temperatures remaining in the upper 50s. Temperatures will start to warm up on Monday with highs back in the low to mid 60s before a cold front moves through the area dropping temperatures back into the 50s on Tuesday.
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