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B.C. nurse-turned-cop takes charge as premature labour strikes flight over Manitoba

Little Larissa Ussak arrives safely thanks in part to RCMP Const. Rob Renner
Baby Larissa Ussak, whose mother went into labour during a flight and was assisted by West Shore RCMP Const. Rob Renner, was born on Feb. 21. (Photos courtesy of West Shore RCMP)

A West Shore RCMP officer who two weeks ago received his Long Service Medal from the Canadian Armed Forces was this week recognized for diverting a plane prior to the delivery of a premature baby.

West Shore RCMP Const. Rob Renner was aboard a flight on Feb. 20 following a graveyard shift, when the plane’s crew asked that any medical professionals present identify themselves. Renner had trained and worked as a nurse for nine years, following a previous stint with the Canadian Armed Forces and before joining the RCMP in 2020. After he identified himself, the crew told him a woman on the flight – Sadie Ussak, from Arviat, Nunavut – had gone into labour after being pregnant only 31 weeks.

Renner immediately took responsibility for Ussak’s care, RCMP stated in a release. The expectant mother was taken to a private spot on the plane where Renner monitored her contractions and confirmed she was in premature labour. Understanding the risks associated with premature birth and the necessity of a proper neonatal team, Renner directed the pilot to divert to the nearest hospital, in Thompson, Man., where a waiting ambulance transported Ussak to the town’s hospital.

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Baby Larissa Ussak was born just after 1 a.m. Feb. 21, weighing three-and-a-half pounds.

“He was calming me down and telling me I was going to be okay. It felt good to have him there,” Ussak recalled of Renner in the statement. Both she and her baby were healthy following the birth.

“Const. Renner’s ability to step up and render aid in a crisis has been a consistent part of his career choices and path taken thus far,” read the RCMP release. His career in law enforcement began as a member of the Military Police deployed to Sinai. Renner had conducted humanitarian missions in Haiti during his nurse training and prior to joining the RCMP. He’s currently a Canadian military reservist.

“I was really happy to be in the right place at the right time and able to help Mrs. Ussak get to the hospital as quick as possible to have her baby,” he said.

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About the Author: Greater Victoria News Staff

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