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Grandma helps deliver grandson

| Sunday, May 6, 2012, 7:55 p.m.

A Murrysville woman was able to help her daughter deliver a baby boy recently with the aid of a Westmoreland County 911 dispatcher.

Sandy Smythe, 911 emergency medical dispatch supervisor, said a woman called and said her daughter was about to deliver.

"She was quite excited," Smythe said. "That's one of the first things a dispatcher has to do is take control of the situation. The dispatchers have to deal with the caller's emotions as well as their own. He (the dispatcher) used medical protocol to guide the grandmother through the birth of the baby."

Neither Smythe nor Dan Stevens, 911 public information officer, wanted to give the name of the dispatcher. They did say the dispatcher was able to talk the woman through the process of helping her daughter bring the boy into the world on Aug. 18.

"After the baby was born, he (the dispatcher) went through the instructions on how to clear airways," Smythe said. "The baby was crying and breathing. He made sure everything was OK. It seemed to go well. The call-taker gave instructions on how to stimulate the baby. That cry is always a welcome sound."

The names of the family involved also were not released.

All dispatchers go through a training program for just this type of situation -- helping an untrained person in a medical matter.

"They give them instruction to have the best possible outcome for their loved ones," Smythe explained. "It can be on controlling bleeding, childbirth, CPR instruction and airway obstruction."

To give an example of the wide range of calls a dispatcher can handle in a day, the dispatcher's next call after helping with the birth of the baby involved a stolen bicycle.

Smythe and Stevens said they were elated with the outcome and proud of the way the dispatcher handled the situation.

"This is a dispatcher's euphoria," Stevens said. "Any time you can save a life, or bring a life in, is a good thing. Our people do a fantastic job on what they do on a day-to-day basis. The good things that occur sometimes get overlooked. If you can get a save out of it, there's no better feeling."

Murrysville Medic One eventually arrived on the scene to assist with the delivery, according to Darrick Gerano, Medic One director.

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