Thursday, June 28, 2012

9-1-1 Call Taker Assists in Delivery of Healthy Baby Girl

Left to right - Grandma, Emergency Communications Officer Karen McKechnie, Mom and baby, Dad
On an average day, Calgary’s 9-1-1 Centre, Public Safety Communications (PSC) handles more than 2,500 calls from the public in need of assistance. For Emergency Communications Officer Karen McKechnie, Monday, June 18, 2012 turned out to be anything but average.

Around 12:56 a.m., Karen received a call from Kevin Neish saying his wife was in full labour and they would not have time to make it to the hospital. She immediately dispatched an ambulance, and also quickly turned to her Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) system for instructions on precautions of an at-home delivery.

Karen calmly walked the father-to-be through preparations for the baby’s arrival, ensuring there were clean towels and a shoelace on hand for the baby’s umbilical cord. The baby beat the ambulance to the family’s side, arriving only six minutes after the 911 call was made.

Thanks to her calm advice, the family was able to bring Olivia Lawryn Stuart-Neish into the world. She weighed 8 lbs 6 oz and was 19.75 inches long.

“I’m just delighted that I was able to help this family in the healthy delivery of their baby daughter,” Karen says. “I feel honoured to be part of such a joyful and memorable moment in their lives.”

Both mom and baby were determined to be healthy.

“It was very traumatic and we were so thankful to have someone on the phone who took charge and made us feel like we weren’t alone,” Neish says.

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