911 dispatcher reunited with baby he helped deliver, save in Orange County

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Wednesday, May 4, 2022
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A 911 dispatcher and the baby he helped both deliver -- and save -- met for the first time in person Wednesday in Orange County. Marcus Solis has the story.

GOSHEN, Orange County (WABC) -- A 911 dispatcher and the baby he helped both deliver and save met for the first time in person Wednesday in Orange County, along with the child's grateful parents.

They were calm and collected meeting in person, but it was a different story last month when little Nova Rose Crowder was born in a car on the side of a highway.

Gerard Lewis, the dispatcher who took the call, met with Derrick Crowder and Andrewa Johnson at the Orange County Emergency Services Center in Goshen.

The events were captured in the harrowing 911 call Derrick Crowder made on April 9, when the couple realized they weren't going to make it in time to the hospital in Middletown from their home just over the border in Pennsylvania.

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And there was a complication: the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby's neck.

But Lewis stayed calm and directed the couple what to do.

"Once he explained to him how to take (the cord) off, and he got it off, she was completely fine," Johnson said.

Nova spent 10 days in the NICU and is doing fine.

"He's definitely a hero, I give him that," Derrick Crowder said. "I give him the utmost respect. He definitely saved my daughter and my fiance."

But Lewis says it was just another day at the office.

"I have to be calm because he needs me to be calm," he said. "So regardless of how I feel or how my day is going, I need to be calm for him."

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Orange County Emergency Services Commissioner Brendan Casey said Lewis relied on his training.

"Our dispatchers go through extensive training to handle a variety of situations, and he did exactly what he was trained to do," he said. "I could not be more proud of him."

Lewis' grace under pressure not only helped deliver little Nova, but it may also help future dispatchers as the 911 call will likely be used as a training tool.

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