FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. – In Jennifer Creighton’s 11 years as a 911 dispatcher, the call she received on June 20 was a first for her.
That night, a man called 911 frantic because a woman was in labor and she wasn’t going to make it to the hospital.
“She was in labor, that her water had already broken and that she had the urge to push,” said Creighton.
Creighton’s instincts and training kicked in to remain calm and talk the couple through the baby’s delivery at a home on Shamrock Road.
Franklin County 911 Center Assistant Director Melissa Cundiff said that thanks to the department’s new digital APCO Emergency Medical Dispatch System that went online last year, dispatchers like Creighton can walk someone through any emergency, step-by-step at the touch of a keyboard.
“We’re also able to help citizens with CPR, controlling bleeding, controlling an airway, giving Epipen, Narcan,” said Cundiff. “We can help them with delivery of a baby.”
The county hasn’t released the name of the family or a photo of their little bundle of joy, but Creighton said that mom and baby are healthy.
“As the phone hung up on that final push, the medic was running inside the house and immediately said, ‘Hey! We have a baby!’ So it was a good feeling,” said Creighton.
He was born at 11:24 p.m. on Saturday, June 20. If he had waited just 36 more minutes, the baby and Creighton would have shared a birthday.
“You talk to people when they are having the worst day of their life,” said Creighton. “So it was a really good feeling to know I was there for someone during a good day.”