Dispatchers with Northcomm Fire and the California Highway Patrol teamed up to help a panicky father deliver an apparently healthy girl Wednesday.
Christy Tuck of Northcomm, which dispatches for several North County fire departments, said she took the call at 3:54 p.m. from a Vista man.
They immediately ran into problems because the caller was screaming and only spoke Spanish, but because he called on a cellular telephone, the call was routed through the California Highway Patrol, Tuck said.
A Spanish-speaking CHP dispatcher stayed on the line and relayed information.
"When they first came on the phone, there was a lot of screaming, "The head is coming out!'" Tuck said.
The second problem — this was the first pending delivery in her 12 years as a dispatcher for Tuck, the mother of two children of her own and a
stepmother of two others.
"It took me 30 seconds to calm down," Tuck said.
Tuck said her computer contains information on how to handle a variety of situations, so she was able to access a section on delivering a baby and give instructions to the man. The computer information is progressive, with information appearing on the screen based on answers given by the caller, she said.
The third problem — Tuck said there seemed to be a few moments when the father wasn't listening to the dispatchers but talking to someone in the room.
The baby came out just moments before paramedics with the Vista Fire Department arrived, and the father tied off the umbilical cord with a shoestring as instructed, according to Tuck.
Mother and daughter were taken to Tri-City Medical Center.
Tuck estimated that she was on the phone with the father for eight minutes but didn't learn the sex of the baby until later, when a fire captain called dispatch to congratulate her on a good job.
Tuck, 42, said she might ask her boss if she could meet the little girl.
"It would be nice to see the baby," she said.
The name of the CHP dispatcher who helped was not immediately available.