Introducing the 2020 Red Cross Class of Heroes: Lauren Trylovich, Emergency Medical Assistance Hero

Red Cross Emergency Hero Lauren Trylovich

Lauren Trylovich is a trained paramedic, emergency phone operator and has been working at the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications for four years. On a regular eight-hour shift Lauren will get 200-300 calls – cardiac arrests, shooting victims, stabbings and injuries are all part of her day to day response. But one intense call in particular stands out. 

When Amena Karim’s sister, Rasheda Kahn, became unresponsive, she immediately called 9-1-1 and Lauren answered her desperate call for help. Lauren was able to successfully assess Rasheda’s condition and knew the labored breath meant that time was critical. Lauren told Amena, “Ma’am, listen to me, this is very important – somebody needs to start CPR on her right now.”

With Lauren’s calm and clear instructions, Amena was able to stabilize her sister until paramedics arrived, without any prior experience or training in CPR. “She empowered me to help my sister, but also, she was very empathetic and effective,” Amena said about Lauren. This is why the Red Cross of Illinois has awarded Lauren the 2020 Emergency Medical Assistance Award, sponsored by William Blair.

A few months after the call, Amena would have the opportunity to express her gratitude to Lauren on the phone and later in person. As for Lauren, when asked how often she gets a call from someone who wants to thank her, Lauren said: “Never. In my entire career, this has never happened.”

Since COVID-19, Lauren’s crucial community work as a Chicago 911 call taker continues, including addressing the many pandemic-related calls. “I am grateful and proud to serve my community through the 911 system. Sometimes a calming voice can reassure the public that we are in this together and ease the panic,” she told the Red Cross.

Lauren was to receive her award at the Red Cross of Illinois’ annual Heroes Breakfast, which was cancelled because of coronavirus. We hope you are inspired by her story, and consider donating to the Red Cross at www.redcross.org/ChicagoHero. Right now, the impact of your gift will be doubled by a generous match.

Better is honored to be a sponsor of the Heroes Breakfast and to collaborate with the Red Cross to share the inspiring stories of all the 2020 Heroes too.


You’re Invited: Virtual Heroes Event

We hope you can also join us for a special virtual event to celebrate our 2020 Class of Heroes, and hear directly from Celena Roldán, CEO of the American Red Cross of Illinois. We promise this will be an uplifting start to your day!

This virtual event is on Thursday, May 7th from 9:00 – 9:30 a.m. via Zoom. Please make sure to register online to attend.


More from Better: