Two firefighters and two communications/911 employees from Richland County, North Dakota, were recently honored for aiding in two separate deliveries of newborn babies while on the job.

Communications/911 Manager Jill Breuer presented local and state-level Early Bird and Stork Awards when the county board of commissioners met Tuesday, Feb. 16. Both babies were delivered along highways in Richland County within the last six months.

The first honoree was Tracy Hanson, Richland County Communications/911. Hanson aided in the delivery of the son of Levi and Breanna Odegard, born Aug. 21, 2020 on Highway 46.

This was actually Hanson’s second time delivering a baby while on the job, hence her receiving the Richland County Stork Award. Breuer explained that the state award is only eligible once. The Odegards were unable to attend Tuesday’s meeting.

Andrew Braaten and Carson Laney, firefighters with the Christine Fire Department, and Sara Knutson, Richland County Communications/911, were honored for aiding in the delivery of Elizabeth Irene Wettstein, daughter of Scott and Kelli Wettstein.

Elizabeth was born at 10:43 p.m. Dec. 30, 2020 at the exit to Highway I-29 from Christine, North Dakota. Her parents and older brother attended Tuesday’s ceremony. Braaten and Laney received the North Dakota Stork Award and Knutson received the North Dakota Early Bird Award.

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