T he experience of delivering a baby early Sunday morning was so exhilarating for Officer David Gebo, that if necessity compels, he’ll be glad to do it again.
“It’s the most amazing experience I have ever had to deal with in 30 years of police work,” Gebo said.
Gebo had help, of course, and appreciated it. Washington County Dispatcher Glen Gosnell talked him through the delivery over the phone.
“It was good to hear his voice,” Gebo said. “And thank God there were no complications.”
Gebo and Dispatcher Gosnell found themselves in their serious game of phone obstetrics shortly before daybreak at an apartment of a Broadway residence. Gebo said a 30-something mother of three went into labor around 2 a.m. Sunday.
At county dispatch, Gosnell sent both Gebo and Skenesborough Rescue around 4:40 a.m. Proximity placed Gebo on the scene first and Mother Nature did the rest.
“I got there at 4:40 a.m., and within six minutes, the baby had arrived,” Gebo said.
Gebo, who has 30 years experience both as a police officer and an emergency medical worker, described a scene where a lot happened in six short minutes:
“The Father looked at me and asked, ‘Have you ever done this?’
“Neither have I.’”
Gebo and the expectant father delivered the baby in the mother’s bed, with Gosnell coaching by speaker phone.
“I don’t know how he knew what to say. If he read it out of a textbook or what,” Gebo said.
The improvised obstetric team –– father and policeman on the scene, and the dispatcher 20 miles away by phone –– did the things one usually sees in films, (sheets and towels), but there were a few variations.
Gebo, for one, wore protective gloves, and the father tied off the umbilical cord with a twist tie off of a bread bag.
“The baby did turn blue. I cleared mucus from its throat, massaged its back, and then it cried. The father’s eyes lit up like Christmas trees!,” Gebo said.
The baby had already given Gebo prior reassurance, grabbing onto one of his fingers. The baby, now to be known as “P.J.” for Peter James, was dried off, wrapped in towels and whisked off with its mother to Rutland Hospital by Skenesborough Rescue. Gebo learned later that Peter James weighed seven pounds and measured 20-inches.
Still euphoric two days later, Gebo handed out compliments to everyone.
“The mother was in such pain,” Gebo said, “but she was going to have that kid. The father did a great job, so did the dispatcher. It was amazing, unbelievable –– to see a child come out and grab for its first breath!”
Gebo did not deny that the birth had left him a bit awestruck. After it was over, and before mother and child sped to Rutland Hospital, the mother said, “You’re Office Dave Gebo, aren’t you?” Yes, he replied.
“You’ll come and see us when we get back?”
“Yes, and I’m going to get him a little teddy bear.”