Cullman EMS dispatcher welcomed to ‘Stork Club’


Katie Harbin of Cullman EMS poses with the “Stork Club” mug she received from the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch. (Photo courtesy of Ryan Whisenhunt)

CULLMAN – The International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED) welcomed Katie Harbin of Cullman Emergency Medical Services (EMS) to its “Stork Club” recently, after Harbin helped a couple deliver a baby girl. The Stork Club recognizes emergency dispatchers who have helped deliver a baby on a call.

Harbin has been a dispatcher for 13 years total, nine and a half at the Cullman County’s Sherriff’s Office and the other three and a half with Cullman EMS.

Harbin recalled what happened during the call: “The EMD (Emergency Medical Dispatcher) training was crucial on that call for sure. We knew the baby was coming before the ambulance could get there and I went straight to the EMD protocol, which walked us through delivery of the baby safely.”

Harbin said she is flattered by the recognition.

“I’m honored to have been recognized by the International Academy as well as CRMC and Cullman EMS,” she said. “As dispatchers, we don’t get to be there; we don’t get to see the people we help. After the call is over lots of times we never know more about it. That can be very hard, and most of the calls that we deal with are talking to people on the worst day of their life. So, when it is helping to bring a life into the world, that is really awesome!”

She added, “I hope that the recognition for dispatchers as a whole will continue to rise.”

About the IAED: “The IAED is a nonprofit standard-setting organization promoting safe and effective emergency dispatch services worldwide. Comprising three allied Academies for medical, fire, and police dispatching, the IAED supports first responder-related research, unified protocol application, legislation for emergency call center regulation, and strengthening the emergency dispatch community through education, certification, and accreditation.”

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