Dispatcher helps deliver baby in Battlement Mesa
Every time Garfield County emergency dispatcher Michelle Raymond picks up the phone she knows it can be a life-or-death situation. On the morning of Feb. 26 she learned just how much the former can be true.
That Monday, she helped a local Battlement Mesa couple deliver their new baby in the bathroom of their home.
“It was such an emotional and intense call, I would have been affected no matter what, but being pregnant definitely added to it,” she said.
Raymond herself is due to have a baby boy this month.
“Only a few other dispatchers in Garfield County have helped deliver a baby before, usually the ambulance arrives before delivery,” she explained. “But I had the dad on the line and he said it was baby number four and the contractions were two to three minutes apart so I knew the baby was coming. I just had him echo all my instructions clearly aloud.”
Raymond immediately went through the proper questioning and instructions to ensure the father could safely help his wife deliver their new baby, using the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch protocol and questionnaire.
This month, IAED recognized Raymond with the Call of the Week, highlighting dispatchers from around the world who correctly follow established protocol and provide excellent customer service to callers and patients with urgent needs, according to the press release.
She walked through the delivery with the father and knew she had to keep her emotions in check because in five minutes the baby would be out.
“I just remember how great the dad was, he listened to my instructions calmly and followed them perfectly,” she said. “I just tried not to let my emotions overwhelm the situation.”
She added that after the call, her coworkers surrounded her and she couldn’t help but cry.
“She did an exceptional job, and, after review, her call was scored as High Compliant,” Gena Baker, supervisor at Garfield County Emergency Communications Authority, who nominated Raymond for the award, said in the press release.
“When it was all over, Michelle had to take a moment to recover from the rush of emotions and then dove right back in to call-taking and her normal duties. We are very proud of how she handled the call and served this family in our community.”
While on the call, her coworkers were on the phone with the local fire department and police, ensuring they were on their way to the home.
Raymond said she would like to listen to the call again sometime. She has not heard from the family since, but knows the baby was doing well when paramedics arrived.
She will receive a certificate from IAED and was entered in a quarterly drawing for a $100 prize.