11/21/2013 3:19:00 PM Ambulance team and NBPD get surprise thank you
Family and responders pose together.
Kirk Winkelman gingerly hands baby Kallie to dad, EMT Nicole Lundeen is in center.
by DENISE MARTIN
It was shortly after 4 a.m. October 31 when county 9-1-1 dispatchers took a call from a woman who calmly introduced herself. “My name is Sara Turner and I’m in labor.” On the recording of the 9-1-1 call Turner continues to explain that she and fiance Dale Smith are on the freeway, approaching the Harris exit, on their way to Wyoming Fairview Lakes to deliver Sara’s second child.
She thought she should call 9-1-1 to give officers a heads-up because their car, a tan Buick LeSabre, is exceeding the speed limit. Calmer heads prevailed that morning, however, and dispatchers convinced the would-be mother to pull over for immediate medical attention. With Thanksgiving just around the corner Turner and the blended Turner-Smith family thought it would be nice to personally give thanks to all the people involved in the delivery of newest family member, Kallie Rose.
The whole crew surprised everybody when they walked into a room full of uniforms at an EMS night training class last week in North Branch. It would be an under-statement to say that Kallie Rose, at a healthy 8-plus pounds, was the hit of the night. Turner’s due date wasn’t supposed to be for a few days yet, when her water broke at home on Halloween morning. She said she had needed more than 20 hours to give birth to her first child, a boy, so she thought she had lots of time. But, on the freeway she found herself futilely fighting the urge to push.
On the 9-1-1 call there are interludes where you can hear Turner breathing in short bursts as contractions start rolling in like waves on the beach, one after another. The dispatcher stresses to her birth is imminent and they must pull over. Sara said she was telling Dale she didn’t want to stop, “...but it’s a good thing we did...two pushes and she was out.” North Branch Police Officer Becky Lawrence was the only city car on patrol at that time of morning. She’d been monitoring the chatter between the county 9-1-1 and the would-be parents. Lawrence was waiting for their car at North Branch as it stopped on the southbound ramp. The ambulance arrived at 4:32 a.m.
Officer Lawrence got behind the wheel of the rig and as she wrestled it back onto the foggy freeway, Kallie entered the world at 4:40. EMT Nicole Lundeen and paramedic Kirk Winkelman were by Sara’s side. Lundeen has been with Lakes Region EMS only about a year-and-a-half and she is thrilled to already have gotten the opportunity to do a live birth. It’s one of those career highlights that every EMS provider truly hopes to experience. Winkelman, with over 23 years under his belt, said Kallie is his first birth in-the-field. For the entire Lakes Region EMS organization, this was only the second remote delivery ever. Decades ago Todd Fisk, now serving as an EMS operational administrator, was on duty at the only other ambulance birth, and he recalls the situation like it was just last week. It isn’t something you ever forget, he remarked. And, with last week’s surprise thank you, the responders know they aren’t forgotten either.