DARK AND STORMY EVENING

By: Kim Gutwin

It was 2:32 a.m. on Dec. 13, 2010, a quiet, stormy Canadian winter night, when Regional Communications Center in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, received a call from an ever-so-slightly anxious father, Paul Langford.

His wife Tammy was in labour with their second child.

In the first moments, the call seemed almost routine procedure for veteran EMD Jessica McBride.

“Having been fortunate enough to have helped bystanders deliver healthy babies in the past, I didn’t feel too much fret,” McBride said. “But then I heard the wife scream, so I knew what road we were heading down, and time was not on our side.”

While McBride gathered information, supporting EMD staff, Charlotte Harris and Alysia Czmuchalek, alerted first responders, directing them to a rural location that even on a good day could mean a 40-minute drive.

That’s when things really started to happen quickly, McBride said. Langford said his wife’s contractions were about two minutes or less apart.

McBride had no doubt the baby would arrive ahead of the ambulance.

 “I began prepping him for the possibility that he was going to have to deliver this baby by gathering some blankets, towels, and a shoelace to tie the cord,” she said.

Langford tended to all the tasks, all the while trying to keep his wife as calm as possible and reassuring her that help was on the way.

McBride’s prediction was right; the baby would beat the ambulance to delivery. Within seconds of getting prepped, Langford said the baby’s head was visible. McBride walked him through the IMMINENT DELIVERY DLS links in the Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS) using ProQA.

Moments later, at 2:38 a.m., Mila March Langford came into the world.

“Once I heard the baby cry, we all let out a collective sigh of relief,” McBride said. “Then I realized that he hadn’t even told me if it was a boy or girl. I finally asked, and he exclaimed ‘A GIRL!’”

Not long after, the Langfords had the opportunity to meet their voice of help. Baby Mila March was more than cooperative to pose for pictures.

“I’m so glad I was able to be a part of her story and to meet her and her wonderful family,” McBride said. “It’s these moments that remind us how lucky we are to do the job we do.”

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