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911 dispatcher administers CPR to men who allegedly overdosed near Baldwin Wallace University

The call came in Saturday night from an off-campus house not far from the school.

STRONGSVILLE, Ohio — On Saturday night, Cynthia Houdek — who goes by Cindy — answered a 911 call coming from an off-campus house near Baldwin Wallace University. On the other end of the line, the caller was telling her that she believed her friends were overdosing, and said three of them had passed out and were purple in the face.

"When they told me they were purple in the face, we just immediately sprung into CPR," Houdek, a dispatcher of 17 years, said.

Houdek began walking those on the other end of the line through chest compressions, giving them instructions and counting aloud despite the yelling and confusion heard on the phone. 

According to officials from Baldwin Wallace, five people were hospitalized after apparent drug overdoses at an off-campus house. Four of the five are students at the university, and one is an alumnus. 

While Houdek, who's been with the Strongsville Communications Center for more than two years, said she was prepared due to her training. Still, this call stood out. 

"The nerves still shoot up, but I immediately spring into action," she told 3News. "I have the experience, I have a lot of training, and I have a good team, and we all work well together. I just do what I do like muscle memory, and we just keep going, don't stop.”

Houdek didn't stop, walking the callers through multiple rounds of CPR until one of the people in the house said the three patients appeared to be breathing.

Houdek says she's relieved that everyone survived the night. 

"I’m thankful that they made it through," she said. "I’m doing my job. We all care. I care about people. I'm a mother, I’ve been those kids before. It would have been a tragedy for young adults just starting their lives for that to have been their last. I’m thankful that they made it through. I'm very thankful.”

All of the students have since been discharged from the hospital.

3News also reached out to Berea Police on Tuesday, who confirmed that marijuana and suspected cocaine were taken from the off-campus house. According to authorities, tests will be performed to determine what was in the drugs, although testing can take a month. There are no new updates into the investigation into how the drugs got into the house and where they were obtained.


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