BRECKSVILLE, Ohio — There’s a lot to expect when you’re expecting, but most don’t expect delivering a baby at their home with no medical help.
A Broadview Heights’ couple found themselves in that exact scenario, but thankfully, Megan Gallagher was the dispatcher on the end of the 911 call.
Gallagher has been a dispatcher at Chagrin Valley Dispatch’s Brecksville center for more than three years.
“Our job is to make sure that people that are calling are safe and our officers are safe,” she said.
She answers people’s calls on some of the worst days of their lives.
“People have heart attacks, people having strokes, elderly people falling, injuring themselves, or people coming home and finding their loved one passed away,” she said, recalling the types of calls she typically answers.
But on July 19, Gallagher answered a call for a birthday.
“My wife, I believe, just went into labor. Her water broke,” said the man on the other line of the 911 call.
Gallagher’s training kicked in.
“I made sure he had towels down. I made sure she was laying on the ground and in a comfortable position. I made sure she was breathing correctly,” she said. “And I said if you need to push, then push.”
She dispatched Broadview Heights’ firefighters to the house, but the baby was on its own time.
“She is crowning,” said the man to Gallagher. “Tell her to go ahead and push,” she said.
Just a few minutes later on the call, you could hear the man’s wife start to push through labor.
“Oh, my gosh! It’s a boy! It’s a boy,” the man exclaimed. “No way! Congratulations,” said Gallagher, in response.
Not only was the new mom and dad celebrating a healthy baby boy, but the entire dispatch center.
“Everyone was crying and cheering. I almost started crying but then I just got so excited. I was so happy. Pure happiness,” she said. “It’s definitely the most rewarding thing.”
Gallagher is used to not knowing what happens to the people on the other line after police or fire officials arrive, but a couple of weeks later she received a letter in the mail from mom and dad.
“In the note it said, ‘Thank you so much for walking us through the delivery of our son. That was, by far, the scariest and best day of our lives and we couldn’t have done it without you.’”
Just last week, she received something else: The Stork Pin. The pin is specifically reserved for those dispatchers who successfully aid in the delivery of a baby and this is the first Stork Pin awarded to a dispatcher at the Chagrin Valley Dispatch Center’s Brecksville location.
“My goal this year was to get a life saving pin,” she said. “But getting the Stork Pin was just as good. There’s people that have been dispatching for 20 years who have never gotten a stork pin, and then there’s me.”