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Dispatcher Helps Deliver Baby via Phone

Dispatcher Helps Deliver Baby via Phone

By Karen Knight

PeopleImages.com – Yuri A/Shutterstock.com

CAPE MAY – A Cape May County public safety dispatcher got a chance to be an “unsung hero” April 27 when a man called for help after his pregnant wife’s water broke and her labor began.

Paul Fritsch Jr., who has been a dispatcher for just over four years, answered a call for service from a Cape May resort at 10:18 a.m. that day. “The dad called and said his wife was 30 weeks pregnant and her water just broke,” the 30-year-old dispatcher said. “I got my instructions and said, ‘We’re going to have a baby.'”

Fritsch said dispatchers receive training on all sorts of medical issues and have written instructions to guide them on what questions to ask in what order, and then how to handle the situation. He said the dad listened carefully to his instructions over the phone, and within five minutes, and before the Cape May Fire Department arrived, the child was successfully delivered.

“It was an awesome experience,” he said. “I even heard the baby’s first cry.”

For Fritsch, who lives in Del Haven, the baby’s successful birth was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. “Typically, we answer calls where life is taken out of the world,” he said. “This was a chance to bring life into the world. All the dispatchers in the room were listening, and everyone cheered when we heard the baby cry.”

He said the newborn is believed to be healthy and was taken to Cape Regional Medical Center with the parents. Efforts to reach the parents were unsuccessful.

“I sent a text to the dad afterwards thanking him for listening to the instructions,” Fritsch said, “and he said he wouldn’t have been able to deliver the baby without my guidance. Us dispatchers rarely see appreciation for what we do because it usually isn’t a happy outcome. The quick actions between the caller and myself had a positive outcome this time. Sometimes we’re the unsung heroes.”

Contact the reporter, Karen Knight, at kknight@cmcherald.com.

Reporter

Karen Knight is a reporter for the Cape May County Herald.

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