We’ve had more than a few 911 dispatchers at the Ada County Sheriff’s Office who have talked people through emergency baby deliveries. We’ve also had more than a few dispatchers who’ve talked people through CPR and saved lives.
When dispatchers help deliver a baby, they get a stork pin. When they help someone successfully do CPR, they get a lifesaver pin.
Crystal Graves now has both pins— which is an exclusive club. Except that when Graves helped deliver a baby at a Kuna home late Monday night, she wasn’t on the phone. She was right there, working alongside Kuna paramedics.
That’s because Graves switched careers this year and went from being a dispatcher to her new job as a patrol officer for Kuna Police. So she’s in the helping-save-lives-with-CPR-as-a-dispatcher-and-helping-deliver-babies-as-a-patrol-officer club. That’s a very exclusive club.
When Graves responded to a call for an emergency baby delivery at a home in the Deer Flat/Linder roads neighborhood just before midnight Monday, she wasn’t sure what to expect.
At that point, ACSO dispatcher Cami Stark had spent over five minutes coaching a family member who called 911 to report that the mother had gone into labor and they weren’t sure what to do.
While we normally don’t send officers to medical calls like an emergency birth, there was some confusion and lots of voices in the background during the call so dispatch asked the nearest Kuna officer to check it out after calling paramedics first.
Paramedics arrived and took over for Cami. Crystal Graves showed up at the house a minute later. She asked if there was anything she could do. The birth was complicated — both the mom and baby needed medical attention — so paramedics asked Graves to stay and help.
“I went right back to my dispatch training – going through the checklist of all the things we need for an emergency birth,” Graves said. “Of course, the paramedics were already there so I just did what they asked me to do. It was a neat experience to go through that in person — especially after hearing more than a few of those calls in dispatch.”
In fact, since there were only three paramedics on duty, and they had two patients, Graves continued to help paramedics in the ambulance.
While that was going on, Kuna Police officer Vishal Sahni stayed with the family members inside the house to help them deal with the anxiety of having both mom and baby needing medical help.
Ada County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jason Piccola pitched in as well, driving an ambulance to the hospital so the paramedics could work on mom and baby on the way there.
Mom and baby are both doing OK. We are thrilled that Officer Graves, Sahni, and Deputy Piccola were able to help.