ALPINE — It was a 911 call that officers had never received before: a Utah mother in desperate need of baby formula for her newborn in the middle of the night.
“I’ve never not had food for my newborn,” Shannon Bird said about her decision to call police at 2:12 a.m. on Jan. 28. “It was really scary for me.”
In a recording of the 911 call obtained by KSL, Bird was heard telling the emergency operator that she had no way to feed her 6-week-old baby.
“I’ve been calling neighbors and no one will answer,” she said on the call. “I’ve never been in this predicament ever. My milk just literally dried out. This is my fifth kid and this has never happened.”
Bird went on to tell the dispatcher that her husband was out of town and that the rest of her five children were sleeping. She normally breastfeeds her infants and didn’t have any formula in the house.
“She was screaming,” Bird said about her newborn on that night. “I called my husband and we were brainstorming. I started calling neighbors and teenagers in the area and my little brother and no one was awake.”
Officers with Lone Peak police answered the call for help. Officer Brett Wagstaff immediately stopped at a convenience store, picked up a gallon of milk and delivered it to Bird’s front door.
That’s where he discovered that the baby was too young for regular milk and needed infant formula instead.
“We’ll leave this with you,” Wagstaff is heard saying on body-camera footage as he handed Bird the milk. “We’ll be right back with some formula for your baby — she’s adorable.”
After running to Walmart, Wagstaff and fellow officer Konner Gabbitas returned with the formula and wouldn’t accept any money in return.
“That’s the same stuff we gave my daughter when she was first born, so hopefully it doesn’t upset her stomach,” Wagstaff’s camera captured him saying to Bird.
“I was not expecting them to go get that food for me,” Bird said, adding that her initial thought was to go to the store herself and have officers patrol her house while her 8-year-old son monitored his sleeping siblings.
Lone Peak Police Department’s public information officer applauded his fellow officers’ actions that night.
Most of us, we got this job to help people, and this was an example of helping out a mother that was in need.
–Officer Dave Ventrano
“Most of us, we got on this job to help people, and this was an example of helping out a mother that was in need,” said officer Dave Ventrano.
Ventrano said this was the first time he’s heard of a case like this in his 15 years of police work.
While it was unique, it wasn’t much different than an officer helping change a flat tire.
“To this mom, this is a priority for her,” he said. “It’s been about protect and serve. This is part of the serve. We are here to serve the public.”
Bird couldn’t thank her middle-of-the-night helpers enough and was glad the responding officers were parents, too, and understood her plight.
“Thank you for helping people in situations where they can’t help themselves in emergencies,” she said.