'Tree of Life' gives Manatee 911 dispatchers a visual reminder of the lives they've saved

At the Manatee County Emergency Communications Center, a tree of life sprouts out on a wall. 

The tree is a reminder to dispatcher Jen Henderson of what they're working to do. 

"The fact that we can see that we've saved so many lives, seeing it grow, it's very fulfilling," she said. "We feel good walking in here in the morning."

Last month the tree was "planted" by the quality assurance team. Each leaf represents a life saved by dispatchers giving CPR instructions. Since January, they've brought back 36 pulses. 

With five to date, Henderson has the most leaves on the tree. 

"Giving them instructions, a lot of people say, 'I don't think I can do this.' They do get scared and worried and they're hysterical. We calmly and safely guide them through," she said. 

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They talk callers through some of the scariest moments. 

"Your voice is the most important thing you have when you give these instructions and you need to know how to do it," said Stacy Needham. 

Needham, the acting division chief of Manatee County 911, said the tree gives dispatchers a visual of those they've saved. 

"A lot of times they sit behind the scenes and they don't know. They don't know the outcome of these calls," she said. 

Each green leaf tells a story of a success. 

Every year the leaves will change colors, showing the progress of their work. 

"We want a forest. That's what we are really looking for," said Needham.