Following the announcement of the cancellation of the Canadian Football League season last summer, Pierre-Luc Caron realized he wanted to take on new challenges and, let's be honest, make a living. But he never thought he had to help a woman give birth at home.
"I wanted to take on new challenges, to do something different from football or training," Caron, hired by the Alouettes in February, explained to The Canadian Press on Wednesday. So I took advantage of this canceled season to embellish my CV with other things!
“I am someone who is very calm and who does not panic in the face of alarming situations; I thought to myself that I could be useful as a dispatcher. I submitted my application and I was hired fairly quickly: I have been working since October, ”he said.
Thus, the holder of a bachelor's degree in kinesiology from Laval University experienced one of the most striking calls of his career a few weeks ago. From the Laurentide-Lanaudière Communications Center in Blainville, he helped a woman give birth from her home.
“Often, when I answer, they're negative calls: it's rare that when people call, it's a situation that is going to be okay. Childbirth, as stressful as it can be, is one of the few calls that can have a happy ending if all goes well.
"It must have been 2 or 3 in the morning. The family was surprised by the contractions and immediately dialed 9-1-1, ”he put in context.
Immediately, Caron goes into “operational” mode and applies the medical training he has received to the letter.
“This kind of situation is covered by our training, but when I got the call, I won't hide that it was stressful. The father was in a panic. It wasn't their first child, but clearly they weren't ready to give birth at home - like no one is ready for that, actually, ”he admitted.
“The first step is to locate the caller, because we do not know exactly where he is, in order to send help as quickly as possible. But we could already see the baby's head. Fortunately, the cord was not wrapped around his neck and the baby was crying, so he was breathing. It really reassured me, ”he continued.
"The baby came out in time to say it!" I had my part to play, but it was the parents who did it all. Once the baby was delivered, I made sure that the parents could provide the right care for the baby, that the cord was well placed, that the baby was breathing, that the mother was also healthy until the arrival of the "paramedics" . "
They took about 15 to 20 minutes to get there, he said.
“Laurentides-Lanaudière is vast, and calls sometimes come from far away in the woods. It can be long before help arrives, ”he recalled.
“As long as the baby was delivered it was a super happy call, everyone was happy. Everything went well: I could not have hoped for better. […] Once the "paramedics" arrived on the scene, my job was finished. I switched to another call. I don't know the outcome. "
So he doesn't know if the baby is doing well today.
"It's rare that we know it," he pleaded. I don't know the name of the person; it is confidential information. I do not have access to the phone number to call them back afterwards. It is therefore rare that we know the outcome, unfortunately or fortunately. I have the impression that in this case it was fine, but I don't know. "
It's not always the case. Caron's work more often than not leads him to negotiate with people in great distress. A recent call he received particularly touched him.
“A 40-year-old woman did not wake up from her sleep; she was in cardio-respiratory arrest. It was his 18-year-old son who noticed it. He's the one who called, ”he said.
“So I guided him to perform cardiac massage. Usually, when we do that, it's more for the elderly. She is not a 40 year old woman and her 18 year old son is not given instructions to help his mother. You don't want to say it, but she's almost dead, ”he finally admitted.
“It's very touching, especially since I experienced the whole range of emotions with him: at the beginning, the young person is distraught, then he feels useful, he says to himself that he is going to revive her. But after a few minutes of heart massages that didn't work, he realized he was now alone. His single mother had just left him. These are touching calls, ”he said.
It takes a special temperament to stay calm under very high stress, but also to be able to leave it all behind when it comes time to come home from work.
Caron, it seems, is good at both.
“I don't know how I manage to break out of the office. Maybe that's my temperament. I don't know of a magic recipe. It's a bit like football: I have no room for mistakes. There is a beautiful parallel to be drawn on this side, ”he explained.
“There are things that I will be able to transpose to football, just as stressful situations experienced as a footballer have helped me as a dispatcher, he said. But you realize in hindsight that my life was never in danger. She is still not a dispatcher. However, the lives of people who call can be. I have no room for error as a dispatcher. "
Football this summer?
Caron lived a childhood dream by signing a contract with the Alouettes this winter.
Now he would like this dream to take shape. While the CFL is in no rush to confirm a 2021 season, Caron is confident the camps will get underway in early May, as planned.
“Maybe I have blinders on, but to keep myself motivated I would say I'm very optimistic about having a camp soon,” he said.
“I can't wait: it's a little guy's dream that was buried when I was (with the Stampeders) in Calgary. I was very good in Calgary, but I always dreamed of playing for the Alouettes. I feel it's coming. If the pandemic can be controlled so that my relatives and friends can watch the games, then that would be even more wonderful, ”he concluded.