Red Deer emergency dispatcher Alanna Robertson meets Baby Owen

Family recounts baby’s birth on Hwy 11

When his pregnant daughter called for a ride, Doug Brown thought he’d have time for a cup of coffee before driving her to the hospital. Mother Nature proved him wrong.

When his pregnant daughter called for a ride, Doug Brown thought he’d have time for a cup of coffee before driving her to the hospital.

Mother Nature proved him wrong.

Tiffany Brown “had three contractions by the time we got to the Alberta Springs Golf Course,” recalled Doug, who ended up delivering his grandson on the side of Hwy 11 at 4:45 a.m. on Jan. 9.

Doug had taken on hospital driving duty because his daughter’s partner, Chris Foster, was still apprenticing as a millwright in Lloydminster when Tiffany went into labour. The young couple believed there would be plenty of time until the birth, since their second child wasn’t due until Jan. 23.

But there wasn’t time.

“This isn’t supposed to happen,” Doug remembers thinking, after his daughter said, “’Dad, I think the head’s coming’…

“I thought: Oh dear god, here we are. This is real life happening here!” Doug recalled.

The outside temperature was -25 C when he pulled off the dark, mostly empty highway. He parked his truck near the entrance to the golf course and called 911.

Although Doug remembers being calm “because I had to be,” he appreciated hearing what to expect from emergency dispatcher Alanna Robertson. “She said get a good hold of him, (the baby’s) going to be really slippery when he comes out,” Doug recalled.

All it took was one push by Tiffany, and Doug was holding his newborn grandson, Owen — who is brother to Patrick, age 20 months.

After the infant started breathing and crying, Doug wrapped him up in his jacket. Robertson told Doug to use one of his shoelaces to tie off the umbilical chord about six inches from the baby’s belly — and then to wait for the ambulance to arrive.

Tiffany and her newborn were taken by paramedics to hospital, where Owen weighed in at seven pounds, three ounces. There were no birth complications.

Ten weeks later, mom and baby are doing so well they wanted to thank Robertson in person for her assistance. Along with Grandpa Doug, the whole Sylvan Lake family met the emergency 911 dispatcher in Red Deer on Saturday to express appreciation.

Doug, who works as a mixer/driver with a local cement firm, said he had tried to talk to Robertson a few hours after the birth, but was told the dispatcher had finished her night shift.

“All of a sudden, you were gone,” he told her.

Robertson said she actually helped deliver five babies by phone since she started dispatching in 2009, but this is the first time she got an in-person thank you. “I got a couple of thank-yous before, but never like this. It’s super cool,” said the dispatcher, who was thrilled to meet the family — especially baby Owen.

“It’s nice to put a face to someone who helped you,” said Tiffany, who doesn’t remember much about what was said that night, but feels she was in good hands.

“My dad was pretty calm, so I was calm. If he wouldn’t have been, I wouldn’t have been.”

Considering Tiffany’s labour with Patrick lasted 10 hours, Foster never expected Owen to come so fast. “I wish I could have been there sooner,” said the young dad, who “thought they were messing with me” when he was first told about the road-side delivery.

Tiffany’s mom, Stacey Brown, also thought her jokester husband was pulling her leg about the baby being born in his truck.

“I thought, yeah, right — until I heard the baby crying.” Stacey said she’s very proud her husband “kept it together” — right up until she asked him several hours later, how he was doing,

“Then I lost it,” admitted Doug. “It’s very close to my heart to be able to deliver my own grandchild. I still can’t believe it happened.”

lmichelin@bprda.wpengine.com

Just Posted

One strong wind leaves years of replanting work for Red Deer parks staff

High visibility boulevards already replanted, neighbourhood work starts next year

Red Deer-area indigenous filmmakers invited to apply for $20,000 grant

Storyhive launches Indigenous Storyteller Edition

Restaurant closed after compliance team patrol

Public Safety Compliance Team checked eight bars and restaurants on Oct. 19

Red Deerians await local cannabis stores

So far 31 stores in Alberta awarded licence to operate

Rimbey RCMP seek missing man with health concerns

Has anyone seen Bill Harris of Ponka County?

WATCH: Make-A-Wish grants Star Wars loving teen’s wish

The Make-A-Wish Foundation granted Anakin Suerink’s wish in Red Deer Saturday afternoon

Local Sports: Rudy Soffo valuable to Kings on the court

When Rudy Soffo first saw the RDC basketball Kings roster he was… Continue reading

Except for 1 kick, Saints, Ravens are evenly matched

BALTIMORE — In a matchup between the league’s highest-scoring offence and top-ranked… Continue reading

Julia Louis-Dreyfus gets a top award for comedy

WASHINGTON — After a 35-year acting career and with two iconic television… Continue reading

Ricky Skaggs, Dottie West enter Country Music Hall of Fame

NASHVILLE — Bluegrass and country star Ricky Skaggs, singer Dottie West and… Continue reading

AP Exclusive: Stephen Hawking’s wheelchair, thesis for sale

LONDON — Stephen Hawking was a cosmic visionary, a figure of inspiration… Continue reading

Canada deemed U.S. a safe country for asylum seekers after internal review

OTTAWA — Canadian immigration officials have determined that the United States remains… Continue reading

Bombardier sues Mitsubishi over alleged theft of aircraft trade secrets

MONTREAL — Bombardier is suing Mitsubishi Aircraft in the United States over… Continue reading

Three strong earthquakes reported in Pacific Ocean off Vancouver Island

Three relatively strong earthquakes were recorded Sunday night in the Pacific Ocean… Continue reading

Most Read