MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

January 2, 2013

Dispatcher helps deliver baby


— By Wendy Burton

Times Editor

When Muskogee dispatcher Samantha Cooper answered a recent 911 call, she didn’t expect to help deliver a baby.

Cooper had only been a dispatcher for about six months when she received the call from the baby’s mother, Tammy Armstrong, and Armstrong’s family Dec. 8.

“I went right into the protocols, but I was really nervous,” Cooper said.

The other dispatchers on duty were excited for Cooper’s chance to deliver a baby over the phone. Some dispatchers never get to have what they consider an amazing experience, she said.

Grandmother Brenda Clark delivered little Brody Brown in the family’s bathtub as Cooper talked Clark through it over the phone about 1:15 that afternoon.

Armstrong, Brody and Clark met with Cooper on Dec. 20, for a chance to thank the dispatcher and give Cooper the opportunity to hold the baby whose first cry she heard over the phone.

“It was a really cool experience, and I may never get to do it again,” Cooper said.

On that Saturday afternoon, Armstrong was not planning to deliver a 5-pound, 6-ounce baby. Brody wasn’t due until Jan. 11, she said.

But, she was on her way home from the store and started having pain, believing it was cramps.

Armstrong grabbed Clark as soon as she arrived home and headed for the bathroom where her water broke.

“Then, I just jumped into the bathtub full of cool water,” Armstrong said. “I was just so hot. And I was terrified. I was so scared, and then here he was coming early, too.”

Clark called 911 and got Cooper on the phone. As paramedics sped toward the family’s home in Fort Gibson, Clark began to try and time contractions with Cooper’s help.

Clark counted three contractions then told Cooper, “I see the head. There’s the head. The baby’s head is out.”

Then Clark dropped the phone, got a grip on little Brody and said, “He’s a slippery little booger,” Armstrong said, laughing with the rest of her family as they all told the story.

Cooper walked Clark through clearing Brody’s sinuses and other instructions as paramedics arrived and took over from there.

For Clark, it was an experience she’ll never forget, and Cooper is a dispatcher she’ll never forget, she said.

“When it was done and the paramedics were there, I put the baby on her chest and walked outside,” Clark said. “Then, I almost dropped to the ground when I realized what we had just done.”

Armstrong said her other children were easy, quick deliveries too — but not as fast as Brody, who was born healthy and is doing well.

“Usually, they get me to the hospital or I’m already there, but he wanted to be born at home,” she said. “He’s Grandma’s Christmas present.”

Reach Wendy Burton at (918) 684-2926 or wburton@muskogeephoenix.com.