Bolt provides roadside delivery service
After Minneota Police Chief Bill Bolt had his head closely shaved on June 30, he posted a photo on Facebook with the caption, "Nothing like a new haircut to make you feel young … newborn young, that is."
Three days later, Chief Bolt got his chance to compare his new haircut with a newborn; responding to a 911 call and delivering a baby boy in the Police Department parking lot.
"I have been present for a few emergency deliveries when I was working as a police officer in Worthington," said Bolt, still excited hours after the delivery.
"But I've never been the main delivery person and 'catcher' before."
Just after noon on Wednesday, July 3, Stephanie Schilling of Porter was about to give birth and was being driven to the hospital in Marshall by her sister, Dorothy Trinka.
"I had one contraction around 10 o'clock that morning," Schilling said. "And then I had a couple between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m., so I decided to take a bath to get ready in case I needed to go to the hospital."
Schilling's water broke while she was in the bathtub and she informed her sister it was time to go to the hospital.
"We were thinking about going into the hospital in Canby because it's closer," Schilling said.
"But they don't have a birthing center there and I figured I had time to make it to Marshall anyway because I had only four or five contractions before that."
As they neared Taunton, Schilling went into hard labor and told her sister to drive faster.
"I called 911 myself and told the lady on the phone that I didn't think I could make it (to Marshall)," Schilling said.
"And then I just hung up on her because I was in a lot of pain (and couldn't talk)."
The 911 operator called Schilling back at 12:36 p.m. and asked where they were and if there was any anywhere they could pull over.
"We had just passed Dollar General (in Minneota) so we decided to pull into the police station," Schilling told.
"And the police were they a second or two after we got there."
Chief Bolt and Training Officer Austin Thompson, who just became licensed less than two weeks ago, were patrolling in Minneota when they got the news.
"When we got to the police station, we could see the flashers on the car and the horn honking," Bolt told.
"We could see right away the woman was in distress."
At 12:39 p.m., just three minutes after the 911 operator had called Schilling back, the baby was delivered.
"It seemed longer than that," said Bolt.
"When I first checked, there was no baby. When I checked again, it was crowning. It all happened quickly."
Within a minute after Bolt and Thompson arrived on the scene, Assistant Fire Chief Brad Minnehan and First Responders Seth Myhre, Justin Pesch and David Moriarity were also on the scene assisting.
"They all helped a great deal," Bolt said of the others responding to the 911 call.
"They provided oxygen, comforted the mother, got the baby kit ready, provided information to the North Memorial Ambulance crew that was arriving, and provided privacy for the mother, which was very important because it was right on main street."
Once the baby was delivered, it was wrapped up, the cord was clamped, and Chief Bolt handed Schilling her new son. The mother and baby were then transported to Avera Hospital via North Memorial Ambulance.
"She was very thankful and appreciative," Bolt said of the mother. "And she was very tired and emotional."
The baby, whose due date was July 10, was named Christopher Lyle Pesch Jr. after his late father who was killed following an electrical accident on April 3.
"If the dad was here, he would think it's funny that the baby was delivered by a policeman," laughed Schilling.
The baby and mother are both doing well and were released from the hospital on Friday. The baby weighed 7 pounds, 12 ounces and was 21 inches long.
"The baby didn't need oxygen or medicine or anything," said Schilling. "He's a very healthy baby boy."
This is the second child for Schilling. Doctors induced her labor with her nine-year-old son, so she has not experienced anything like this before. Thompson got to experience an event in his brief time on the job that some police officers don't experience in their career.
"This was a tremendous training experience for my new officer," said Bolt. "It definitely opened his eyes to providing real and compassionate service to the community."
Despite the vital efforts of all those involved in assisting the mother and baby, Bolt deflected the majority of the credit to the mother.
"The mom is the real hero for having a baby in the car," he said.
"And for having to work with strangers who aren't doctors."
Schilling said she appreciated the efforts of all involved.
"They were all fantastic," she said.
"Under the circumstances, things couldn't have gone any better. Some of them covered the car with blankets so people couldn't see what was going on. I was comfortably uncomfortable, if that makes sense."
"We normally get calls for tragedies, so it was refreshing to get a call like this. We were very fortunate that we could be there for her. Everyone present will always remember this day. And what a way to start a holiday weekend."
Bolt visited the mother and baby in the hospital and was able to hold the baby that he delivered.
"He's really cute," Bolt said. "And he already has more hair than I do."