A 911 operator still in his probationary training period helped a husband and wife deliver their newborn baby over the telephone last Friday while the couple was driving down the highway on their way to the hospital.
The couple, Kristen and Shay Allred, were driving to a hospital in Salt Lake City when they realized that they weren’t going to make it in time to deliver the baby. That’s when they decided to dial 911.
William Kalaher, an emergency dispatcher out of Utah, answered the couple’s call. Fortunately for the Kristen and her husband Shay, Kalaher, who had only been taking calls solo for a couple of weeks prior to the incident, had been trained for the occasion.
Kalaher was quoted by KUTV as having said that they “joke” at work about getting “a pregnancy call, and then it actually happens.”
I mean, we joke, ‘Oh you’re going to get a pregnancy call,’ and then it actually happens. You train for it, and then here we are. I really wasn’t expecting it. But you’ve got to be ready for it. It’s 911 (…) We do daily training calls that help us be prepared, because you never expect it. It just happens when it happens (…) Daily training is where it comes into play. Honestly, my entire focus was on those two.
Kristen told ABC News that “within a minute” of talking to Kalaher, she “had given birth.” Her husband, Shay, thinking that they had more than enough time, continued driving towards the hospital in Salt Lake City.
From when we started talking to 911, within a minute I had given birth.
Suddenly, she realized that her newborn, a baby girl, wasn’t breathing. The umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck. Calmly, Kalaher explained how to position their daughter in order to encourage breathing. According to Shay, just as soon as the baby was properly positioned, she “gasped her first breath and it was like, ah, thank goodness”.
As soon as we tilted her head back, she just gasped her first breath and it was like, ah, thank goodness
Kalaher also explained to Shay how to tie off the umbilical cord with either a shoelace or string.
I need you to take a string–a shoelace, possibly–and tie it tightly around the umbilical chord about 6 inches from the baby. I need you to do it now and tell me when it’s done.
According to the 911 dispatcher who helped the couple successfully deliver their baby on I-15, the call was the first major one that he had personally dealt with.
Within minutes, paramedics and cops were on the scene. The couple was transported to Intermountain Medical Center along with their newborn.
The mother and child, who weighed in at 8.4 pounds, were released on Sunday.
In total, the entire labor process lasted less than an hour and a half.
Fox 43 reports that the couple credits William for having saved their daughter’s life.
The baby’s name is Anne.