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Gridley Herald

Fire/EMS Dispatcher Assists with Home Birth

May 03, 2024 11:19AM ● By Cal Fire/Butte County Fire Department News Release

Fire Captain Ryan May helped deliver a Butte Valley couple’s healthy baby girl over the phone by remaining calm and reassuring to the new parents. Courtesy photo


BUTTE COUNTY, CA (MPG) - On April 18, at approximately 7:30 a.m., a 9-1-1 call came into the Oroville Emergency Command Center for a mother in labor in the area of Clark Road and 2 Creeks Road in the Butte Valley area.

Fire Captain Ryan May, a new dispatch team member, answered the 9-1-1 line and encountered a frantic father in need of help with an imminent childbirth. The mother and father underestimated the contractions and the baby’s arrival was not going to wait for them to drive to the hospital.

May immediately jumped into action by calming the father down and ensuring that he was going to help, and that Fire and EMS personnel were enroute. May utilized the Pro QA software on the CAD computers, which is a program that dispatchers use for pre-arrival instructions for calls dealing with cardiac arrest, burns, difficulty breathing, and in this case, imminent childbirth.

May remained calm and talked the father through the whole birthing process, utilizing his training and the pre-arrival software. The baby was successfully birthed before Fire and EMS responders arrived. May instructed the father with after-birth instructions to ensure the baby’s airway was clear and the baby was wrapped in a clean blanket. Fire and EMS resources arrived at the same time and ambulance personnel cut the umbilical cord and transported the mother and baby to an area hospital.

It is not every day that first responders encounter imminent childbirth. May’s reassuring demeanor and professionalism over the phone calmed the father down and together, they delivered a healthy baby girl.

The Emergency Command Center is staffed daily 24 hours by fire captains and communication operators (dispatchers), providing the highest level of professionalism and service to citizens in their time of need.

For information on how to apply for a rewarding career as a Fire/EMS dispatcher (communications operator), go to: www.fire.ca.gov/join-calfire


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