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“The most exciting call I’ve ever taken”: Sacramento-area dispatcher helps deliver Thanksgiving baby

By Adrienne Moore

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    SACRAMENTO, California (KOVR) — “No call is routine.” That’s the case with police and firefighters, but it also applies to dispatchers.

For one Sacramento-area dispatcher, a Thanksgiving shift turned into a special delivery that no one saw coming.

Marissa Wittmann thought her night shift would be spent fielding lots of calls about turkey troubles over the holiday.

“I said, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool if I delivered my first baby tonight?’ And we all kind of giggled,” she said.

And in the wee hours after meals wrapped up, a woman dialed dispatch with more than just indigestion.

“I think the first thing she said was, ‘I think I’m having a baby!’ And then the follow-up was, ‘How many weeks or months are you along?’ And she said, ‘I don’t know, I didn’t know I was pregnant,’ ” Marissa said.

That’s when training kicked into high gear.

“If you can see, feel or touch any part of the baby, then you’re moving a little bit quicker along in your instructions into what you need to help them with,” she said.

In a rapid-fire exchange, Marissa learned the woman was home alone, and within minutes, heard a baby cry.

“This was like the most exciting call I’ve ever taken,” Marissa said.

What’s even more impressive is that excitement unfolded in just six minutes before first responders reached the caller and her baby boy.

“With her being so calm, I think it was really easy for me to be calmer than most maternity calls,” Marissa said. “There wasn’t much time to think or get worked up or anxious because we were moving so quickly through everything.”

This dispatcher delivery earned Marissa her first “stork pin.” It was a call for some post-holiday help neither woman will ever forget.

“To be on the phone while she delivers, she did a fantastic job,” Marissa said of the new mom.

Not much is known about the female caller on the other end, but crews told Marissa both mom and baby are happy, healthy and strong.

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