CFA volunteer delivers wife's baby on side of the road

As Dartmouth brigade captain and a volunteer for 18 years, Jono Dower has attended a variety of incidents in his time with CFA. 


The Dower family get some well deserved rest

But none quite like the morning of Friday 13 July, when he delivered his wife’s baby on the side of the road.

After Alannah Dower’s waters broke just after midnight, the pair began the 93km journey through heavy fog to Wodonga Hospital.

But the baby couldn’t wait that long, and shortly after, Jono was delivering his son under the guidance of a triple-zero operator.

“We had to drive a bit further down the road so we could get some reception” the Reservoir Officer said.

“The Triple Zero operator on the phone was just absolutely fantastic, and she’s said since that apparently we were really calm.

“Going out to incidents, you have to be pretty clear with how you communicate.

“I didn’t think it at the time but looking back, that probably helped us out a bit.”

As well as the monumental task of delivering their second child without a midwife, the pair had to endure numerous hurdles, including dodging a set of wombats just outside of Dartmouth, and Jono accidentally slamming the car door on Alannah’s fingers.

But they were able to pull through, and Reginald Colin Dower arrived safely into the world only nine minutes after pulling over, before ambulances arrived to escort the young family to hospital.

Jono credited his time with CFA as helping him through the stressful situation, but left most of the praise for his wife.

“I guess being stuck in a remote locality and just using what was available to us, what we had on hand, that’s something I’m used to,” he said.

“Through CFA you learn to adapt to different situations and make do with what you’ve got, and we certainly had to that.

“But I had the easy job, Alannah was the one that did all the work!

“You couldn’t find a stronger woman.”


Author: Tim McGlone