During the early morning hours in November 2015, Orange County Fire Rescue dispatcher Rene Cheek answered a 911 call from a mother who was in labor. She kept the caller – the expecting mother’s mom, Alma Jones – calm and gave her clear, concise instructions. Just minutes into the call, the baby was safely delivered and Cheek provided instructions to clear the baby’s airway. She stayed on the phone until first responders arrived.
Her efforts that day earned her an invitation with 15 other Orange County employees to meet with Mayor Teresa Jacobs at the Mayor’s Employee Appreciation Coffee last month. She also had the opportunity to meet Jones, mom Sharonda Barnes and baby Will Johnson just in time for Mother’s Day.
Making a difference at a critical moment in someone’s life motivates Cheek to do her job both efficiently and effectively. “We take what we do very seriously,” she says. “We set incredibly high standards for ourselves because we want residents and visitors to receive the best care possibly in the event of an emergency. The bar has been set high, and so are the stakes, but we are up to the challenge.”