Dispatcher leads grandmother through birth

HAMBDEN TOWNSHIP – A northeast Ohio woman had the unexpected opportunity to deliver her own grandchild about 7 p.m. Thursday – with more than a little help from a calm 911 dispatcher.

Geauga County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher Aaron Holman took the call from a woman living near Chardon saying that her 39-year-old daughter was going into labor at home and more than a month early.

As paramedics made their way to the woman’s home, Holman cooly walked the woman through the process.

Over the course of the eight minutes, the woman’s doubt in her ability to do help – she tells Holman she has a bad back – switches to fear as her daughter’s screams get louder and finally joy when the baby is born head first and without complications.

The call ends with the woman leaving to answer the door for the paramedics who arrive just seconds after the baby is delivered.

Holman said he has been working for the dispatch for about 3 1/2 years and it’s the first time he had to lead someone through giving birth over the phone.

“Not over the phone – that was a definite first,” he said.

Holman said his initial response was to ask why the caller thought her daughter was going into labor and after that to hope that she wouldn’t have to deliver the baby alone.

“At the end of the day, I have a job to do and the baby was coming and she needed help,” Holman said.

Lt. John Hiscox of the Geauga County Sheriff’s Office said that all dispatchers are prepared for this situation.

“It’s not that common, but the dispatchers are trained via a flip chart,” he said.

Using the chart, the dispatchers are able to lead callers step by step through the birthing process as the paramedics are on their way.

Hiscox said the family did not want to be identified.