One way or another, the Falde baby was determined to be born — and there was no time to drive to a hospital.
Immediately realizing the family needed emergency assistance, Chad Falde called the Sarasota County Public Service Communications Center in a panic.
“My wife’s having a baby!” Falde said. “… Oh, her water just broke!”
Dispatcher Janet Jones asked routine questions such as mother Jessica Falde’s age and how far along in her pregnancy she was. She talked Falde through the delivery while Falde’s mother, Kathleen Shinn, followed her son’s instructions in the pouring rain.
“The baby’s coming!” Falde said. “My mom’s delivering it!”
At 2:02 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 16, Shinn delivered 6-pound, 14-ounce Grant Falde, who was soon wrapped snuggly in his father’s shirt — the only item available to keep the baby warm.
Jones told Falde it was imperative that his wife lay on her back and instructed him to remove one of his shoelaces to tie off the umbilical cord, which had been wrapped around the baby’s neck when he was born.
“It’s just an experience we can’t describe,” said Jessica Falde. “I said, ‘Chad! You have to call 911 — this baby is coming now!’ While it was happening, I just kept thinking, ‘I cannot believe this is happening … I cannot believe I’m going to give birth in a truck in somebody’s driveway.’”
The delivery is Jones’ second by-phone delivery in the past several months.
“My whole job is to keep them calm and focused,” Jones said. “You’ve got to think outside the box to handle this situation.”
Contact Loren Mayo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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