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Glenville families, dispatchers who helped deliver babies honored

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Updated: 3/19 11:19 pm

GLENVILLE, N.Y. – Emergency responders and a couple families who shared some unique and special moments were honored by the Glenville Town Board Wednesday.

Three Glenville families needed the help of 911 dispatchers to bring the newest member of their family into their lives. People gathered Wednesday night to honor the dispatchers, a police officers and families involved.

“I went to sleep as a bus driver and woke up as a doctor,” Luis Cruz said.

Cruz and his wife, Megan, awoke in the middle of the night back in January. Their baby was coming.

“I’m just laying there freaking out just wondering what is going on and how we’re going to do this without any help,” Megan said.

A similar fate was shared by the Rapp’s only they were on their way to the hospital when the baby decided to come.

“At that point, I was pretty nervous,” Justin Rapp said. “I called the 911 operator.”

Laurie Fredricks – a mother herself – took the call.

“I know how crazy that can be,” she said. “And for them to have stayed calm and for me to have helped them through that; it’s an amazing connection to that family.”

JoAnne McPhail, also a mother, took the call for the Cruz’s.

“It was like a rush of memories coming back, and I found myself pacing,” she said.

She guided the Cruz’s step-by-step.

“When the baby was finally out, I was like, ‘Is the baby breathing?’, and the phone disconnected,” she explained.

McPhail nervously called them back.

“I called them back immediately, and once I heard the baby crying it was a sigh of relief and a great feeling,” she said.

Those two calls happened less than 24 hours apart in January. Another 911 dispatcher fielded a similar call earlier this month.

“Over the 12-plus years of doing it, this was one of the better calls to have,” dispatcher Don Gerding said.

Gerding said he never delivered a baby over the phone before but does not consider himself a hero calling it “another day at the office.”

 “It’s nice to see the happily ever after and seeing the families and babies here today was great,” Fredericks said.

The family that Don helped deliver asked not to be part of Wednesday’s ceremony.

All Glenville dispatchers and the police officer were honored with an award. Both the Cruz’s and Rapp’s received a gift from the police union and will have day this month named after their newest babies.

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