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June 5, 2017

Dispatcher coaches mom through childbirth Monday

Photo/Cassandra Brown
Kim Malloy relied on her training and coworkers to help a Remington family with childbirth Monday morning.
We don’t get a lot of births that happen on the phone before the ambulance arrives, so we celebrate it.
— Communications Manager Joell Kight
By .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Staff Journalist
About three hours into her shift Monday morning, the Fauquier 9-1-1 dispatcher answered an exciting, rare phone call.

“‘My grandson’s being born and I can see the head’,” Emergency Communication Specialist Kim Malloy heard a grandmother tell her over the phone at 9:50 a.m.

Ms. Malloy, 26, quickly asked the grandmother for her phone number and address in case the call dropped.

She also asked the age of the patient and the status of the birth.

“I happened to be the lucky gal who answered it,” Ms. Malloy said. “My main concern was that the ambulance had all the information they needed. My coworkers were helping with that.”

Yearlong classroom and on-the-job training had prepared her for the situation.

Ms. Malloy quickly found pre-birth instructions and relayed each step to the grandmother.

Fellow dispatcher Chavelle Hutchins notified emergency medical responders from Remington.

Five minutes later, just before medics arrived, Ms. Malloy heard the newborn baby boy crying over the phone.

An ambulance crew took the mother and baby — both healthy and doing well —to Fauquier Hospital.

“I have had OB (pregnancy/birthing) calls before, but this was the first from start to finish on the phone,” Ms. Malloy said.

Usually medics arrive before the mother gives birth, she explained.

“You try to stay as calm as possible, so you don’t heighten anything for the patients,” Ms. Malloy said. “I was excited at the end.”

She has worked 12-hour shifts for Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office Emergency Communications Division for about a year and a half.

“It’s about being there for someone at his or her worst, unfortunate day and helping everyone else too,” said Ms. Malloy who lives in Culpeper County.

She received a year of classroom and on-the-job medical training for CPR, birth, defibrillator use and other emergency techniques.

Previously, she worked for the Virginia Department of Transportation as a dispatcher.

“We don’t get a lot of births that happen on the phone before the ambulance arrives, so we celebrate it,” Communications Manager Joell Kight said. “In my tenure (20 years), I can’t remember a baby delivered before an ambulance arrived.”

To protect the family’s privacy, the sheriff’s office declined to identify the newborn or his mom.
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