911 call dispatchers are trained for a variety of situations. But we doubt that Leslie Bard was expecting to deliver a baby over the phone when she went to work a few weeks ago.
Leslie works as a senior communicator for the Harrisonburg Rockingham Emergency Communication Center. But in all her time working for the call center, she never encountered one quite like the one she had when Eula Gammon was on the other line.
Eula was calling 911 about her pregnant daughter, who had gone into labour at their family’s home. The distressed mother didn’t know what to do since her daughter’s contractions were escalating so quickly. "She's pregnant and going to have a baby, and she's having really, really bad contractions," the soon-to-be grandmother said during the 911 call. "She said she can’t ride in the car to the hospital."
"It was just a routine 911 phone call. But...you never know what you're going to get in this job,” Lesley explained, WHSV 3 reported, adding that she was at first taken aback by the situation. The 911 operator proceeded to make sure Eula and her labouring daughter stayed calm through the process. Lesley then gave birthing directions to Eula over the phone since it was clear they had no chance of making it to the hospital.
Although Lesley describes the delivery as ‘fast,’ it was ultimately a success. In just a few minutes, the women delivered a healthy baby girl. Lesley said she breathed a huge sigh of relief once she could hear the infant crying on the other line. "Is the baby breathing now...it is breathing," she asked Eula during the 911 taping. "Yes, fine. So, what should I do now," the new grandmother asked, to which Lesley responded, "Wrap the baby in a clean towel.”
After she hung up the call, Lesley thought she had heard the last of the Gammon family. So, imagine her delight when the Gammons surprised her at her workplace a few days later in order to say thank you face-to-face. The 911 operated was able to meet the new baby and mom as well as the grandmother.
"It was wonderful," Eula told the media, expressing her gratitude for the safe outcome. "I just want to say the most beautiful miracle is the miracle of life."