Thursday, August 16, 2001

Baby's mom says thanks for 911 help

By Howard Wilkinson
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[photo] Proud parents Mark and Jennifer Jones show off baby Sarah to Lisa Loomis (right) Wednesday.
(Hamilton County Communications Center photo)
| ZOOM |
        When three-month-old Sarah Jones grows up, she might want to make 9-1-1 her lucky number.

        That was the number her aunt, Carolyn Hacker, called on the night of May 28 when Sarah's mother, Jennifer Jones of Colerain Township, went into labor. A Hamilton County communications officer talked the anxious aunt and Sarah's mother through an emergency delivery.

        Wednesday morning, at the Hamilton County commissioners' meeting, Sarah, her mother, and father Mark met Communications Officer Lisa Loomis for the first time.

        “She's beautiful, what a doll,” Mrs. Loomis said, stroking the baby's thick crop of red hair.

        Mrs. Loomis was on duty the night Mrs. Jones went into labor. Ms. Hacker got Mrs. Loomis on the phone, asking for an ambulance to take her sister to the hospital.

        But, shortly into the conversation, Mrs. Jones' water broke and Mrs. Loomis began talking the two women through what turned out to be a quick delivery.

        “It was all over in six minutes,” Mrs. Loomis said.

        At the commissioners' meeting Wednesday, the 911 tape was played. With Mrs. Jones moaning in the background, Mrs. Loomis can be heard in a calm voice telling her to lie on her left side and take deep breaths.

        “OK, I can hear the baby crying,” Mrs. Loomis said on the tape. “That's good, that's good. You have a blanket to wrap her in?”

        Hamilton County's 911 operators have training in emergency medical instructions, including childbirth, but Mrs. Loomis has some experience of her own — she is nearly eight months pregnant with her seventh child.

        For the Jones family, Sarah was the sixth.

        Wednesday, after hugs and picture-taking, even the commissioners were moved.

        “That kind of choked me up,” said Commissioner John Dowlin.

        “I think we're unanimous on that,” said Commissioner Todd Portune.

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