Waupaca officer on hand for delivery
By Ben Rodgers
All it took was nine minutes.
On Monday, June 5, Waupaca Police Officer Diana Flatoff helped bring a family into existence in nine minutes.
The 14-year veteran, mother of two and grandmother helped deliver a baby in what will undoubtedly be a moment she will never forget.
“I think it was 4:41 p.m. actually when the call came in. It was an ambulance call that a woman was going into labor at the South Park boat landing,” Flatoff said. “I got into my squad, I located the boat landing and heard some screaming as I got out of the squad.”
She approached and found a young woman in the middle of giving birth. Immediately she felt a mix of fear and excitement.
“This was one of those things where I always wanted to encounter it but I never thought I would,” Flatoff said.
Officers in the Waupaca Police Department have first aid training. Flatoff also took a first responder course many years ago. She also has her own experiences as a mother.
“You kick into that mode of everything,” she said. “My police training kicked in, my first responder training kicked in, being a mother myself kicked in, being a grandmother kicked in, and everything came together as one assisting (the mother) until the paramedics got there and helped deliver the baby.”
She was assisted by Gold Cross Ambulance and an off-duty firefighter.
Nine minutes after Flatoff arrived on the scene a baby boy had been delivered. She was able to radio dispatch something not usually reserved for law enforcement officers.
“Time of arrival 4:50 p.m.,” Flatoff said.
“It was one of those moments in my life that I will never forget,” she said. “I know doctors do it all the time and nurses, but to experience the beginning of life in this profession is not something we usually encounter.”
Flatoff even got to ride in the ambulance holding the baby boy with the mother on the way to ThedaCare Medical Center in Waupaca.
“It was one of the most proud experiences of my life, other than the birth of my two children and the birth of my grandson,” Flatoff said.
Police Chief Brian Hoelzel said there was no one better equipped to be there.
“Any of our other officers would have done an outstanding job also, but her personality and the way she goes about life, she was the perfect officer to be there to handle that situation,” Hoelzel said.
The parents did not respond to a request to be interviewed for this story. But Flatoff ran into the father the day after, who gave her an update.
The baby is doing fine.