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.
Listen to the 911 calls at www.tribtoday.com.
Geauga dispatcher: What's the problem at (your address)?
Caller: I think my daughter's having a baby.
Dispatcher: OK. Why do you think she's having a baby?
Caller: Because she said her water broke and she's kind of yelling out in pain.
Dispatcher: What baby is this on?
Caller: I'm sorry?
Dispatcher: How many babies does she have? Is this her first?
Caller: No. Her third. Nothing is showing yet.
Dispatcher: Well, obviously this is not your first go-round.
Dispatcher: What I need you to do, if you start to see that head come out, I need you to just gently support it but I don't want you to push or pull on the baby if you see it, OK?
Caller: Yeah. Oh my gosh.
Dispatcher: I know. You may have to do this. We're getting a squad going, OK?
[screams heard in the background]
Caller: My back wasn't the greatest when I woke up this morning and I'm having a hard time bending down a little.
Dispatcher: I understand. Just do the best you can.
Caller: Oh, I see something. I see something.
Dispatcher: What do you see, ma'am? Do you see the head?
Caller: Oh, my God. I can't believe this!
Dispatcher: It's OK, ma'am. Just gently support the head.
Caller: Oh, it's all the way out. It's all the way out. The cord is not around its head.
Caller: It's crying.
Dispatcher: It's crying?
[cries heard in background]
Caller: I gotta go get the front door.
Dispatcher: OK, hurry up.
Caller: (to paramedics) The baby is born.
Source: Geauga County Sheriff's Office
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.