‘If we would have waited, the baby could have possibly died:’ Elizabethton PD officer helps with special delivery while on patrol

Community Heroes

ELIZABETHTON, Tenn. (WJHL) — Reva Arwood of Elizabethton was just weeks away from giving birth on July 2 when her water broke.

She was home alone.

Reva’s first instinct — call 9-1-1.

911 Dispatcher: Tell me exactly what’s going on.
Reva: I’m in labor but my baby is breech.
911 Dispatcher: Alright. How far along are you?
Reva: I’m 38 weeks.
911 Dispatcher: Okay, are you by yourself?
Reva: I am.
911 Dispatcher: Okay.

“He [Reva’s boyfriend] kept telling me, no I won’t go to work. I’ll stay at home but I didn’t think I was in labor because I had no contractions,” Arwood said. “I had used the bathroom and then my water actually really broke. I called him. I think he had been almost at work. He was probably three to four minutes away from work. And then I finally decided to call 911.”

Not only was Reva’s baby breech, but it was coming weeks before the expected due date.

Reva: Oh, Lord.
911 Dispatcher: It’s alright. It’s okay.

Arwood told Pheben Kassahun, “It was pretty scary because I was here alone for the first few minutes, and then when I realized that I was going to have to deliver her, it was even more scary because they were supposed to schedule my C-section for Monday.”

911 Dispatcher: The ambulance…they’re coming as quick as they can, okay. I’m going to stay on the line with you, alright. You just tell me if anything changes.

Arwood’s boyfriend Daniel Bates was on his way home while Elizabethton Police Department patrolman Josh Baggett was also on his way.

The two met each other at the door.

Officer Baggett knew exactly what to do thanks to prior training with the Carter County Rescue Squad.

Pictured here is Reva, her boyfriend Daniel Bates and their son.
Courtesy: Reva Arwood

“We went through the instructions of telling her what she needed to do until they got there. When Josh and the other officers got on scene, I just muted my headset but we could still hear everything that was going on there,” Carter County 911 Dispatcher Amanda Bowman said.

“A lot of times when the baby is breeched, the umbilical cord is around their neck and that her water had broke, so along with other things, we did advice her that we would not be able to wait on EMS. We just had to go ahead and start the process,” Officer Baggett said.

However, Arwood feared for her unborn child’s life, “He literally was like, ‘We have got to deliver this baby.’ And I literally was like, ‘Um, no we cannot.”

Officer Josh Baggett: Push for me, okay? Go ahead and push as hard as you can, alright, as hard as you can? As hard as you can.

The dispatcher team of four waiting in silence, at the Carter County 911 Call Center, for some indication the baby and the mom were okay.

And then, they heard the cries of new life.

“There was a pretty emotional few minutes there in the call center,” Bowman said.

Alas! Officer Baggett was able to deliver baby McKinley, calmly doing what he said had to be done.

“If we would have waited, the baby could have possibly died,” Officer Baggett said.

Officer Baggett said this delivery marked a first in his career, but insists he cannot take all of the credit.

“I couldn’t have done any of it without God. That’s my biggest thing. He’s the whole reason why I’m able to do anything. I do want to make sure that he gets all the glory for this,” Baggett said.

And that is why he’s our Community Hero.

If you know someone who makes our community a better place to live, we want to hear from you! Nominate them to be an ABC Tri-Cities Community Hero! Click here and scroll to the bottom of the page to nominate them.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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