A new 911 dispatcher was able to help a couple deliver their baby inside the car. What made the event truly unforgettable is the fact that the baby was not breathing upon delivery.
Kristin Allred began feeling contractions at around 1:00 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 18. Her husband, Shay, drove her to nearby Salt Lake City Hospital in Utah. Halfway through the drive, the mother of three felt like she needed to push already.
Delivering A Baby Over The Phone
Shay contacted 911 for help and his call was routed to a rookie dispatcher named William Kalaher.
When he received Shay's call, he flipped open his training manual and promptly asked relevant questions such as whether Kristin is able to lay on her back and if she is feeling the baby already.
A few minutes later, the baby, who they named Anne, came out. Shay told Kalaher about the progress and that his wife has held their baby up in her chest.
Shay was still driving at 80 miles per hour on I-15 when Kristin sensed that something was wrong. Kristin checked and discovered that the umbilical cord was wrapped around Anne's neck. The baby was not breathing.
Kalaher then immediately instructed Shay to stop the car and assess Anne. The couple confirmed that their baby was indeed not breathing and was neither crying nor making any sounds.
Shay recalled that Kalaher stayed calm and instructed the couple to listen carefully to his further instructions. The young dispatcher specifically asked Shay to find a piece of string, most probably a shoelace, and tie it around the umbilical cord, approximately six inches from the newborn.
Shay did as instructed and as soon as they cleaned the nose and mouth for airway, baby Anne heaved her first breath. "It was amazing," Kristin said. "It was like, 'ahh...'"
Kalaher heard Anne's cry over the phone and said that the newborn did it with all her heart.
All's Well That Ends Well
A team of Emergency Medical Technicians (EMTs) came to the scene shortly after and the family was brought to the Intermountain Medical Center (IMC). The staff performed the necessary medical care for both Kristin and Anne as soon as they got there.
Anne was born healthy and weighed 8 lbs and 4 ounces. She and her mother were discharged from the hospital on Sunday, Dec. 20.
Spotlight Please For The Rookie 911 Dispatcher
Kalaher is just on his probationary period and is not highly familiar yet with Utah's Department of Public Safety. To add to that, it has only been two weeks since he started taking calls on his own. "It's crazy how quickly your training takes over," he said.
Kalaher did not expect the call but said he has to be ready because it is 911. After the successful call, the first thing he did was call his mom to share the story.
On Tuesday, Dec. 22, Shay and Kristin extended their message of gratitude to Kalaher. "Just thank you," said Shay. He added that it was a comforting experience knowing Kalaher was on the phone. For him, it felt like Kalaher was really with them.
"He was definitely there in case anything got worse," Shay said.
The Allred family has expressed their desire to meet Kalaher in person soon.