PORTLAND, Ore. – A Portland 911 dispatcher helped deliver a baby over the phone last month, and on Tuesday she was reunited with the baby the parents she coached.
At about 7:30 a.m. on Aug. 29, dispatcher Caitlynn Brown was nearing the end of her overnight shift. That’s when Andy Loso called 911, saying his wife was in labor and the baby was coming too fast.
“With each contraction, try to keep the baby from popping out too fast,” Brown coached over the phone.
“The head’s out!” Loso remembers saying.
This was Brown's first time delivering a baby over the phone, she said. She trained for it, but had never had to take a call like this before. The family reunited with Brown at the Bureau of Emergency Communications Center in Southeast Portland, where they all listened to that 911 call together.
The call lasts about 11 minutes, and at the end, baby Celia arrives safe and sound, just as first responders get to the home.
“To be here today, get to meet you guys, and be a part of a role in the most important day of your life, is a pretty wonderful feeling for me,” said Brown.
“I had to trust my wife that we could not make it to the hospital, to the birthing center like we originally intended,” Loso said. “911 was it!”
“He’s kind of not really a medical person, and squeamish honestly,” said Sara Andersen of her husband. “We had been talking about what his role would be, and I was like you won’t even have to watch. You can be by my head. And he had to play the biggest role!”
Baby Celia’s big sister Kiera says she is so excited to have a baby sister.
911 dispatchers usually take 8,000 calls for help a year. But delivering a baby over the phone is very rare. It might happen once or twice a year. Most of the time, first responders can arrive and help the mother or take her to the hospital.