Oh baby, what a 911 call

Nicholai Redding, born Monday in his parents’ car while it was stopped in the Mullinex Road Park and Ride in Port Orchard, will probably never pass such a place without a reminder of his auspicious beginnings.

But it could be worse.

“My mother-in-law wanted to call him ‘Parker,’” said Shellie Cohagan, the baby’s mother.

Cohagan and the baby’s father, Tom Redding, were heading for Harrison Medical Center in Silverdale when they realized Cohagan’s car was nearly out of gas. They stopped to fill up, which made it less likely they would make it all the way to Silverdale.

It was, however, a precipitous detour.

“If we hadn’t stopped for gas, then we probably would have pulled over alongside the highway,” Redding said.

Fortunately, his cell phone had plenty of juice. His call to 911 was answered by Donna Kelly, a CenCom veteran who has delivered four babies telephonically during her eight years as a dispatcher.

The call came in at 8:30 a.m. Redding balanced the phone on his shoulder as he used both hands to deliver the baby, who emerged at 8:36. Paramedics from South Kitsap Fire and Rescue arrived at 8:39 and transported mother and child to their original Silverdale destination.

Redding delivered the baby and handed him to Cohagan without looking too closely, so he had to ask whether it was a boy or a girl.

John Taylor, Redding’s younger brother, works as a CenCom dispatcher and was trained by Kelly. Taylor wasn’t on duty at the time, but he was in charge of replaying the emergency call during a Wednesday press conference.

Had he been in the building, Taylor said he probably would not have handled the delivery but he would have listened in.

The press conference, held at CenCom headquarters, was the first time Kelly met Redding and Cohagan face to face.

Kelly held the baby for several minutes on Wednesday, but it is unlikely a relationship will develop.

“She had her baby,” Kelly said. “And then I want on to the next call.”

CenCom assistant director Richard Kirton said talking someone through childbirth over the phone is part of the agency’s standard training procedure.

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