Dispatcher, firefighters reunited with baby they helped deliver

UNIVERSITY HEIGHTS, Ohio — University Heights firefighters and a Chagrin Valley dispatcher recently got to meet a newborn baby for the second time, just about a month after they helped to deliver him.

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On April 3, Zachary decided he didn’t want to wait to get to the hospital to be born.

“I had gotten home from work and felt the contractions,” said Jessica Fleming. “I thought we had time, but we didn’t.”

Jessica soon realized the baby was coming quickly.

“My husband was trying to pack the car and I said you gotta call 911,” Jessica said. “ I have to push right now.”

Both Jessica and her husband, Greg, tell us they felt relieved when they heard dispatcher Katie Friday on the phone. They said she was reassuring and calming.

“So, as a mom, I knew this was quick. Because you can tell,” Friday said.“I’m like this is quicker than I’m used to with the calls.”

Friday immediately sent University Heights firefighters to the home and stayed on the phone with the parents to provide help.

“Once I heard them at the back door and coming up the stairs I was like,  ‘Thank God, the professionals are here,’” Greg Fleming said.

Mom and dad had no way to know when they called 911. But, two firefighters had more than their professional training for situations like this. Two on the crew are new dads. They had just gone through this with their own families.

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And, a few minutes after firefighters arrived, baby Zachary was born at home.

His parents are grateful for the great teamwork from the dispatcher and firefighters.

University Heights Fire Chief Bob Perko is extremely proud of his firefighters. He’s made sure to give the entire crew special recognition, publicly, and at the fire station.

This is one of four special reports the Fox 8 I-Team is highlighting this May to show the heroic efforts by local dispatchers and first responders. 

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