Friday, November 11, 2011

Golf Course Superintendent Delivers His Own Son

The forces of nature define the job of golf course superintendents and the ability to improvise, adapt, and react is what makes a successful superintendent.  Tom Altmann, superintendent at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort and former superintendent at Greywolf, knows these facts apply not only to our jobs but more importantly to life. 
On October 8th Tom and his wife Melissa had to adapt to the forces of nature, when they delivered their son, Logan, in the cab of their pickup truck.
 The story is best told by Tom and Melissa and has been highlighted in the local paper (The Columbia Valley Pioneer) and CBC radio (Hit the link to CBC radio to hear Tom and Melissa tell the story). 
The story starts with Melissa expecting to deliver on November 11th.   But five weeks before their due date, Tom and Melissa were camping.  It was October 8th and the couple’s wedding anniversary.  Melissa started to feel some mild contractions but thought it was false labour.  To be safe the couple decided to go to the local hospital in Invermere. 

When they arrived at the hospital, Tom and Melissa were told that the contractions were the ”real deal” and that it was time to head to the hospital in Cranbrook.   Their newborn was on the way.   As with most deliveries in the local area, the plan was to head to Cranbrook.  Tom scrambled to pack a few things and arrange for a babysitter for their four year old son Myles.   Tom then went back to the hospital and picked up Melissa for the drive to Cranbrook in their Ford pickup.  The couple was relaxed and excited.  Melissa’s labour had not progressed too far along.
But about thirty minutes down the road, the forces of nature and a very bumpy road, started to speed the delivery process along.  The contractions were increasing in speed and intensity.   Melissa told Tom to call 911.  The operator swiftly put them through to an ambulance which was on its way back from Cranbrook to Invermere.   The vehicles were only minutes away from each other and they made arrangements to meet in the parking lot of the Fire Valley Restaurant in Canal Flats to transfer Melissa to the care of the paramedics. 
It was 10:00PM.  Everything in the small town of Canal Flats was closed for the evening.  As Tom and Melissa waited for the ambulance, Melissa got out to stretch.  There were a couple more contractions and Melissa realized their new born was on the way.   Melissa got back in the truck and within moments and with the help of Tom, Logan Altmann made his arrival into the world.
As Tom took Logan into his arms he assured Melissa their new born was breathing.  Logan started to cry,  Tom checked his airway and patted him on the back.  Tom told Melissa “we’ve got a happy, healthy boy.”  Tom reached into his overnight bag and grabbed the first thing that he found.  He then proceeded to wrap Logan up in a clean pair of boxer shorts.
Tom admits there was a range of emotions for both.  Tom says he and Melissa were pretty “white in the face” at the start of delivery.   Then after the magnitude of the moment sank in there was pure joy and a serene calmness when it was just Melissa, Tom, and Logan under the star filled skies.
Moments later the ambulance drivers walked up behind Tom and asked “What do we have here?”  Tom turned around and replied, “A boy!”
Both Logan and Melissa then proceeded via ambulance to Cranbrook where they were both given a clean bill of health.
The job of parenthood, not unlike the job of superintendent, requires the ability to adapt, improvise, and react to what nature presents us with – but the job of parenthood is a lot more important and has more challenges.
Welcome to the world Logan Ford Altmann and congratulations to Tom, Melissa, and Myles.

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