Emer­gency dis­patcher talks fam­ily through baby de­liv­ery

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By AN­DREW RICHARD­SON arichard­son@somd­news.com

It was a rel­a­tively quiet night for the emer­gency dis­patch­ers when the call came in last week.

Con­ner Her­lihy, 20, of La Plata, a dis­patcher with the Charles County De­part­ment of Emer­gency Ser­vices, had been on the job just shy of a year — but by all ac­counts, his calm­ness and train­ing helped suc­cess­fully in­struct a woman who was de­liv­er­ing her daugh­ter’s baby on the bath­room floor of their Wal­dorf home.

It had been a quiet night for the fam­ily as well, the new­born’s grand­mother Brenda An­der­son re­called. “We were just do­ing laun­dry, get­ting our things to­gether for work the next

day, me and my hus­band,” she said, “and the kids were just play­ing video games and stuff like that. Ev­ery­one was sit­ting around do­ing noth­ing.”

“Mi­randa [Hol­ley, 20,] had been say­ing her stom­ach hurt for two days, but it wasn’t like bad be­cause we had been gone, walk­ing around all day, in and out the house all day,” An­der­son said. “It wasn’t un­til later on she went to the bath­room and she started scream­ing. She didn’t even know when her wa­ter broke.”

“It just came all the sud­den,” An­der­son said. “She said she thought the baby was com­ing, and I looked down and saw some­thing com­ing out.”

At 10:30 p.m. on July 12, Her­lihy got the call.

“The caller was the grand­mother of the new­born … she said, ‘My daugh­ter’s hav­ing a baby,’” Her­lihy said. “I started go­ing through the stan­dard ques­tions and then I was ad­vised that they could see the head of the baby com­ing out.”

On the other line was An­der­son, who passed the phone off to her neigh­bor so she could re­lay Her­lihy’s in­struc­tions as she worked to de­liver the baby. Hol­ley and sev­eral kids were heard yelling in the back­ground.

At this point, Her­lihy’s in­struc­tions shifted and he be­gan ex­plain­ing how to de­liver the baby. “I fig­ured then, the baby was com­ing out and it was prob­a­bly go­ing to be de­liv­ered be­fore any emer­gency ser­vices ar­rived there,” he said. “Once we fi­nally got rolling with all the in­struc­tions and ev­ery­thing, things started to calm down a lit­tle bit, but it still kind of a hec­tic sit­u­a­tion on the other side of the phone.”

“They started fol­low­ing the in­struc­tions pretty good, the fam­ily was very sup­port­ive and you could hear all of them around them,” he con­tin­ued.

Just as sud­denly as it be­gan, 6 pound, 15 ounce baby girl Shantell Vic­to­ria Hol­ley en­tered the world. It was 10:33 p.m. To the young dis­patcher’s re­lief, they told Her­lihy that ev­ery­one was OK.

“All the sud­den I hear in the back­ground, ‘Grand­mother’s not do­ing OK, though,’ just kind of jok­ing and laugh­ing and ev­ery­thing,” he said. “It was a pretty cool mo­ment.”

EMS per­son­nel ar­rived just a few min­utes later.

“This is the very first time I’ve ever had to de­liv­ery a baby over the phone,” Her­lihy said. “Def­i­nitely an eye-opener. I felt re­lieved and kind of filled with a sense of pride, just be­cause, you know, good train­ing and ev­ery­thing got me to the point where I could do this ef­fec­tively and to where it was done in the best man­ner pos­si­ble; ev­ery­thing went smooth. There were no com­pli­ca­tions for the child, or the mother.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from USA

© PressReader. All rights reserved.