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El Paso County 911 dispatcher helps deliver twins

Nominated for the "Dispatcher of the Year Award" with the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch.
Courtney Zohrlaut
Posted at 6:33 PM, May 02, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-03 17:44:55-04

EL PASO COUNTY — If you have to call 911 in El Paso County, Courtney Zohrlaut may be the one who answers. If you have to deliver a baby, she's just who you want to pick up.

"I have actually been through three deliveries so far and delivered four babies successfully," Zohrlaut said.

Each baby came fast. She talked to us about a recent call where she helped deliver twins.

Caller: My wife thinks she is going into labor.
Zohrlaut: Okay

"He said my wife is in labor and I was like, 'Okay this is cool'," Zohrlaut said.

Zohrlaut: I'm going to tell you how to help deliver the baby.
Caller: Okay

But this baby, I should say babies, were not going to wait. Less than five minutes later they were out.

Caller: They're both out.
Zohrlaut: They're both?
Caller: Both of them are out.
Zohrlaut: Two babies are out?!
Caller: Yes.
Zohrlaut: Are both babies crying and breathing?
Caller: Yes. They're fine.
Zohrlaut: Okay two babies. Okay, congratulations to you guys.

Eventually, he said, "'Both babies are out' and I was like, 'Both?'," Zohrlaut said. "Everybody in the room looked at me and some people stood up to see me, too, they said, 'Did she really just say both?' and he said, 'Yeah! and I said, 'Two babies? Okay, are there any more coming?' "

Zohrlaut: Both are girls? Okay, congratulations you guys. I'm going to keep giving you some more directions while help is coming okay?

"Finding out what the genders of the babies, too, was really special for me, hearing they had two little girls," Zohrlaut said. "It was really special because on my previous births I was so caught up in the moment in the adrenaline I forgot to ask that."

Zohrlaut: Without pulling on the cord I want you to tie a clean string tightly around the umbilical cord about 6 inches from the baby. Do not cut it and tie it now and tell me when it's done. Caller: Yes ma'am.
Zohrlaut: Tell me when it's done for both babies.
Caller: Okay good both babies are good. Both tied.
Zohrlaut: Okay, good job.

"These are the calls we kind look forward to," Zohrlaut said. "We are usually talking to people on the worst day of their life but these are the best days of their life so it's really amazing to be a part of that when a lot of times we can be involved in stuff that is super dark."

Thankfully this call has a happy ending as she shares life's most precious moments with the strangers on the other end of the line.

Zohrlaut: Are (the paramedics) in there with you guys?
Caller: Yes.
Dispatcher: Yes, okay, I'm going to go ahead and disconnect with you guys. Congratulations.

The awards ceremony will happen at the end of May. We wish Courtney the best of luck and will let you know if she walks away with the "Dispatcher of the Year" award.

Remember if you have a positive story you'd like to share with the community, email positivelycolorado@koaa.com.

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