911 dispatcher honored for talking couple through birth

BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) -- 911 dispatchers are honored this week for their dedication and work across the country.

For one dispatcher, a ceremony in Brown County meant the chance to meet a little girl she helped deliver – over the phone.

A little more than a year ago, 911 dispatcher Amber Castro started her morning with a burst of fresh air – coming from a newborn she was delivering over the phone.

“It’s an exciting call that we get here versus mostly we deal with people on their worst days,” Castro says. “This was the first one that I've ever had that the baby came out on the phone, I got to hear the first breath, so very exciting.”

Parents Heidi and Mike Hamm say it all happened within seven minutes.

“We were meeting at home to head to the hospital,” Heidi Hamm remembers. “Needless to say, when I got home my water broke, and in less than five minutes there she was.”

“[I] walked in to her sitting in the bathroom, saying, 'My water broke. Get the bags, we got to go now,’” says Mike Hamm.

He nervously dialed 911.

“Imagine your hands shaking, uncontrollably, trying to hit the three numbers,” he remembers.

On the other end of the line, Castro picked up.

From there, she talked the couple through the birth.

“Even when my husband had to leave the room, he had left the phone with me, and Amber and I were still talking throughout the entire experience,” Heidi says.

Wednesday, Castro finally met 14-month-old Kinley and received a Stork Award for her help with the delivery.

“I just want to thank her,” Mike says. “She did a really great job in an extremely stressful situation.”

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