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Mom and baby meet dispatcher who helped with gas station birth

Dispatcher Alexandra Norris said the call was the most memorable moment of her dispatching career so far


Volusia County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher Alexandra Norris holds Luca Wonder on Friday. Renee and Jonas Wonder where driving to the hospital early Monday but the baby wouldn’t wait. Renee gave birth to Luca in their car at a DeBary gas station as Norris kept the parents calm until paramedics arrived.

Photo/Frank Fernandez, News-Journal

Frank Fernandez
The News-Journal, Daytona Beach, Fla.

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — It was not exactly how Renee Wonder had planned to give birth to her third child: in the front seat of her car parked at a DeBary gas station with her nervous husband relaying instructions from a 911 dispatcher.

“It’s not my birth plan,” she joked. “Just crazy. I still can’t believe that I delivered my son in the car.”

But she did. And on Friday, Wonder and her family along with their newest arrival, Luca, met Volusia County Sheriff’s Office dispatcher Alexandra Norris and then got a tour of the Sheriff’s Office communications center from Sheriff Mike Chitwood.

The family was driving from DeBary to a hospital in Altamonte Springs about 4 a.m. Monday when the baby decided he wasn’t waiting.

The father, Jonas Wonder, pulled into a gas station at 399 S. Charles R. Beall Blvd. in DeBary and called 9-1-1. The Wonder’s other two children, 5-year-old Giavana and 17-month-old Vincent, were in the back seat. Giavana tossed a blanket to the front seat to help.

Jonas Wonder reached telecommunicator Norris who worked to keep everyone calm and gave the family instructions as Renee gave birth to Luca, weighing in at 9 pounds, 8 ounces.

“It was crazy. I can’t even explain the feelings we were having,” Jonas Wonder said Friday. “It was just crazy.”

Renee Wonder said her two other kids were calm as she brought their new brother into the world.

“Unbelievably calm, which is very rare for both of them in the backseat,” she said.

Norris said on Friday that the call was the most memorable of her dispatching career which only began in September.

“It was exciting,” she said. “It was a little nerve-racking but I’m glad how it turned out.”

Norris, who does not have any children of her own, received a stork pin on her uniform to acknowledge her accomplishment.

She said her training for the job includes what to do in such a situation as an unconventional setting for a birth.

“I knew what I was doing. I was just hoping that they would get their fast,” Norris said meaning paramedics, firefighters and deputies.

Norris said she worked to keep everyone calm.

“Just go step through step to make sure everything’s going OK throughout the process,” Norris said.

She said she was glad mother and baby were OK and back home, and was pleased to hold the baby she helped bring into the world.

Norris said: “He’s so perfect, beautiful.”


©2020 The News-Journal, Daytona Beach, Fla.

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