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911 dispatcher helps father deliver baby: 'I can see the head'

March 06, 2014|By Ari Bloomekatz
  • Katherine and Keith Arthur pose with their baby girl, Colette, at the hospital Wednesday after delivering her at home with help from a 911 dispatcher.
Katherine and Keith Arthur pose with their baby girl, Colette, at the hospital… (Steve Concialdi / O.C. Fire…)

When Katherine Arthur started having contractions Wednesday morning, she and her husband walked from their Laguna Niguel home to their car as planned to go to the hospital. Then her water broke.

"We aren't going anywhere," she told her husband, according to a report from Orange County authorities.

Keith Arthur then helped his wife to the downstairs bathroom where she laid down on the floor. Then he grabbed some pillows and blankets and called 911.

"Hi, my wife is having a baby at home, right now, she is in labor," Arthur told the dispatcher, according to a recording of the roughly five-minute emergency call. The couple lives in the 27400 block of Hyatt Court with three children.

Keith Arthur "wasn't sure what to do and he followed the excellent instructions from" the dispatcher on the line, said Capt. Steve Concialdi of the Orange County Fire Authority. "Word-by-word on how to deliver his wife's baby."

The dispatcher on the other end of the line was Brodie Lefebvre, a father of eight children who has helped at least one other person deliver a baby in their home over the phone.

The paramedic is also related to Jim Lefebvre, a former infielder for the Dodgers and National League rookie of the year.

"OK, sir, help's on the way, how far along is she?" Lefebvre asked.

"Uh, her water just broke and I can, um..." Arthur tried to respond.

"So she's full term?" Lefebvre asked.

"The baby, the baby's just coming right now!" Arthur said.

Lefebvre kept relaying instructions to Arthur, who carried them out or relayed them to his wife. Paramedics arrived less than five minutes later, Concialdi said, but by that time, Lefebvre and the Arthurs had done the heavy lifting.

"Which part of the baby's coming out?" Lefebvre asked.

"I can see the head, I can see the head, I can see the head," Arthur responded.

"OK, gentle pressure on the head, but don't push on it, OK? The baby's coming out," Lefebvre advised. 

After less than two minutes on the phone, Keith Arthur exclaimed: "Oh, the baby's all the way out, I have the baby! I have the baby!"

"Great, good job, great, boy or girl?" Lefebvre asked.

Keith Arthur responded simply: "It's a girl."

The couple named her Colette.

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Twitter: @aribloomekatz | Facebook

ari.bloomekatz@latimes.com

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