Dispatcher earns ‘stork award’ for assisting woman with birth over phone

ROGERSVILLE, Tenn. — A dispatcher in northeastern Tennessee received a “stork award” for her work in helping a woman deliver a baby, calmly giving instructions over the telephone to make the delivery a success.

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According to a news release from Hawkins County E-911, Suzanne Paxton, a dispatcher, received a call from a woman in labor at 5:23 a.m. EDT on Aug. 16.

The woman told Paxton that she had called a family member for assistance, but they were facing an extended trip to her residence, WJHL-TV reported.

Paxton dispatched a pair of paramedics to the residence, according to the television station.

Meanwhile, the woman told Paxton that the baby was coming, so the dispatcher calmly spoke to her, giving her emergency medical instruction and reassuring her, the news release stated.

The woman delivered a baby girl within seven minutes, and when paramedics arrived they took mother and infant to an area hospital via an ambulance, WJHL reported.

Hawkins County EMS Director Lynn Campbell commended Paxton for her “calm voice and professionalism.”

“I am proud of communications specialist Paxton and the entire dispatch team,” Campbell said in a statement. “(Paxton) carried out the mission of Hawkins County 911 by getting the right people, to the right place, at the right time.”

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