911 operator coaches couple through baby delivery

A man delivered his wife’s baby Saturday afternoon with the help of an emergency dispatcher.

Juneau Police Department received a 911 call from a man reporting that his wife was in active labor.

“She was having a baby as they spoke and the dispatcher provided him with some instructions on how to care for the baby and his wife as the baby was being delivered,” says Erann Kalwara, spokesperson for Juneau police.

A baby girl arrived at 4:14 p.m., roughly two minutes after the call was made. Capital City Fire and Rescue showed up at the residence on Third Street in downtown Juneau a few minutes later to find the mother and baby in good health. They were not taken to the hospital. The names of the couple and the baby were not released.

Kalwara says 911 dispatchers are prepared for this type of call:

“Our dispatchers go through Emergency Medical Dispatch course and are certified to provide pre-arrival instructions and certain time-life critical instructions, like CPR and delivering babies, instructions on how to do the abdominal thrust if somebody is choking.”

Kalwara says a dispatcher helping to deliver a baby over the phone is not very common, although a similar case took place just a few months ago.

On Oct. 23, a man called 911 from Best Western Hotel and said his wife was having a baby. A dispatcher provided instructions and the baby was born within five minutes. Capital City Fire and Rescue arrived to find a healthy mother and baby boy.