911 dispatcher who helped deliver Greensboro baby over phone receives award

GREENSBORO, N.C. -- It’s a story that will be told for the rest of baby Jasmine’s life -- nine months ago, she was delivered at home, into her grandmother’s arms, with the help of a 911 dispatcher.

“I just couldn't believe it, I mean she was here,” Gladys Strange said. “I actually delivered the baby.”

Strange said her daughter went into labor while spending the night at her home.

“My daughter hollered and said something was wrong with the baby, so when I jumped up my instinct was to pick up the telephone and dial 911,” Strange explained.

The dispatcher that answered that call was Preston Holmes, who’s been with Guilford Metro 911 for three years. This week, the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch gave him the “Call of the Week” award for the way he performed during the six-minute call.

“We are very proud of him,” said Holmes’s supervisor, Christine Moore. “There's nothing more rewarding than hearing that baby cry on the other end so you know that everything is good you can take that deep breath,” Moore said.

Holmes walked Strange through the entire delivery, from the time the baby’s head was visible until paramedics arrived.

“Ma’am, I’ve got to appreciate the fact that you’re staying as calm as you are. That’s great. Thank you so much,” Holmes said, as heard on a recording of the call.

Strange said she’s thankful he was on the other end of the phone to assist in the successful delivery of her granddaughter.

“He did an awesome job,” Strange said. “He was calm and I think that's what kept me calm. As he was giving me instructions I was like, ‘OK, I got her, what's next?’”

The Call of the Week award recognizes dispatchers from around the world who follow established protocol and provide excellent service to both callers and patients in difficult circumstances.