Skip to main content

Corrections Officer Assists With Baby Delivery

January 21, 2016

By Melissa Johnson

Department of Corrections

WCCW superintendent, Dona Zavislan is giving Tyler a letter of commendation.

WCCW superintendent, Dona Zavislan is giving Officer Tyler a letter of commendation. (Tim Kelly , DOC Communications)

GIG HARBOR – A correctional officer at Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW) recently assisted medical professionals with the delivery of a baby of an inmate who had gone into labor.

Around 3:25 p.m. on Dec. 18, Corrections Officer Rickae Tyler, was pulled from her regular post as a response and movement officer to assist an inmate who had gone into labor. Tyler, along with a clinic officer, placed the inmate into a transport car and made the 20 minute drive to St. Joseph’s Medical Center in Tacoma. During this time, Tyler kept track of the inmate’s contractions, which were just minutes apart and coming closer together.

It was apparent the inmate would give birth in moments, Tyler recalls. She says she accompanied her own children to the hospital when each of her three grandchildren were born, and helped deliver pigs and calves years ago on her family’s dairy farm in Wisconsin, but had never assisted with the birth of a child.

“This was way out of my scope of practice and I was more than concerned that the baby may come in the car,” Tyler said.

At 4:07 p.m., just seven minutes after exiting the transport car and being rushed straight to the emergency room, Bella, weighing 8 pounds, 4 ounces, was born.

“I held the inmate in a sitting position and she squeezed my other hand and with one push, we had a baby,” Tyler said. “I was so happy to get her to the hospital with medical staff, without having to pull over and try to figure out my next move.”

WCCW staff report mother and baby are healthy and doing well.

Tyler also prevented the inmate from injury while getting out of the transport car. Tyler put the inmate’s arms around her own neck, while using her own arms to support the inmate as hospital staff hurried to the inmate’s aid.

Tyler’s actions earned her a letter of commendation from WCCW superintendent, Dona Zavislan.

“You displayed exceptional professionalism, attentiveness, presence of mind and compassion during this emergency medical trip and you are deserving of our thanks and special recognition,” Zavislan said. “I am pleased you are part of the WCCW team.”