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Firefighter Delivers Own Son

Charles Missman has been in the emergency medical services for 18 years and is currently a fire marshall in California. Like many firefighters, Charles also took classes to be a paramedic too. Eight years after his internship, Charles found himself having his first experience with emergency childbirth. None of his training could prepare him for what he was about to do.


The woman who suddenly needed his help was his wife, Michelle. Charles and Michelle were on their way to the hospital when Michelle, about to have their 2nd baby, realized she was going to have the baby at that instant. Terrified, Charles pulled over and called 911.



The 911 operator calmly talked Charles through the delivery. Most people would have been able to relax once the baby was delivered; however, baby Lucas was born with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck. He wasn’t breathing. Michelle remained calm and the dispatcher talked Charles through unwrapping the umbilical cord and performing CPR on his tiny son. After about 30 seconds, Lucas finally took his first breath.


Two and a half years later, Michelle and the dispatcher are friends. Their sons go to the same preschool. Charles and Michelle are constantly reminded of the day Lucas was born whenever they drive past the scene. They both feel butterflies in their stomachs. Charles says they go to regular therapy sessions to manage the ongoing anxiety because Michelle nearly panics every time an ambulance passes. Charles has to remind himself it wasn’t a dream.


Charles said he did not panic because his wife’s “steel nerves” and the calm voice of the 911 dispatcher. When the paramedics arrived on the scene, Charles was greeted by his old preceptor from his paramedic internship (8 years earlier). Also on the scene was the fire captain who is a long time family friend. The captain, paramedic, and 911 dispatcher all won an award from Santa Cruz County for call of the year.


To read more about this call, please visit the article from KSBW8 news, click here. 


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Our mission

Every minute of every day, across our country, firefighters, law enforcement, emergency medical personnel, and dispatchers respond to our cries for help. From the very young to the very old, dog bites, broken bones, fires, shootings, stabbings, explosions, accidents and more, at any time and in any weather, they are there doing their very best to assist us. While some calls are minor, some can be quite horrific, they see things most of us could never fathom. For many of us, just one of those calls would be more than enough for a lifetime, but imagine for a moment, multiple calls over years of service; the things they must have seen, heard, smelled, and tasted. Whether it was one call or multiple calls, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that these responders may develop post-traumatic stress disorder. At first, they may think that the call just frightened them and what they are experiencing will go away on its own. But as time goes by and the symptoms don’t go away or they escalate the responder begins to doubt themselves. Sadly, post-traumatic stress disorder is not always understood or accepted in the workplace, so many will not seek the help they need to get through this. They fear that they will be seen as weak, that they will lose their job or a promotion. Reactions from bosses, co-workers, and friends may be less than kind, so they start to doubt their self-worth and lose faith in themselves. Every bit of what they are going through can trickle down and affect their families, friends and co-workers. We need to do better for those who have already given so much for us by putting their lives on the line every day. Responders Retreat offers a peaceful, serene setting where responders can come together to clear their minds, relax, talk with counselors and mentors and start to make a plan to go forward and move toward a better quality of life.