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911 Dispatcher Helps Deliver a Baby over the Phone

Friday's Hero: Albuquerque Fire Department Dispatcher Frank Gutierrez.

October 9, 2015

ALBUQUERQUE - Today, Mayor Richard J. Berry recognized the heroic actions of an Albuquerque Fire Department Dispatcher Frank Gutierrez for assisting a couple through the delivery process of their daughter’s birth. Gutierrez’s knowledge and ability to work under pressure helped him instruct Lauren and Ronnie Jaramillo over-the-phone, as they performed the delivery of their healthy baby girl, Zena Jaramillo from home. 

On September 9th, 2015, Lauren Jaramillo was home with her husband and their two boys when she began to feel uncomfortable. By comparing her previous experiences of giving birth and her close proximity to the hospital, Mrs. Jaramillo decided to wait to go to the hospital until she was further along.  The pains continued for 10 minutes before the pain escalated and she felt it was time to go to the hospital. Shortly after the decision to leave was made, she realized that it was too late to go anywhere and readied herself for an at home birth performed by her husband.

Mrs. Jaramillo yelled for her husband to call 911 as she knew the birth was quickly approaching. Mr. Jaramillo was immediately connected with Dispatcher Gutierrez and declared that the baby had just crowned. Dispatcher Gutierrez then began to calmly instruct the couple through every step of the delivery. He coached Mr. Jaramillo through properly securing the baby, clearing the airway, and tying off the umbilical cord. Mr. Jaramillo did a great job and even shocked himself at what occurred. On the 911 tape Mr. Jaramillo exclaimed, “Oh my god, I just delivered my daughter!” The entire 911 call was less than eight minutes with the successful birth occurring in the first 3 minutes.

Gutierrez stayed on the line while the family waited for Albuquerque Fire and Albuquerque Ambulance Service Paramedics and EMT’s to arrive.

“We are truly blessed and lucky to have this experience with such a great outcome,” Mrs. Jaramillo said in an email. “This memory will be a great one to share with Zena when she's old enough! We would like to express our gratitude to Mr. Gutierrez for calmly walking us through the process that night.”

Gutierrez has been a dispatcher for 7 years and Zena was one of many deliveries he has assisted with over the years. All AFD dispatchers are firefighters and are licensed as Basic Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT-B) giving them the necessary knowledge and experience needed to help people through emergency situations.