The newest member of the Stave Falls community decided she did not want to wait for mom to make it to the hospital.
Instead of doctors, the baby was delivered by a team of firefighters before the ambulance had even arrived on Tuesday night, Jan. 25.
The mother posted to social media thanking them the following day, but the respect was mutual, said District Chief David Butterworth, who led the team from Station 2.
“I do want to say that she was amazing. She was very, very strong,” Butterworth said. “It’s obviously a difficult and less than ideal situation for her to be in.”
The baby girl was born at 11:30 p.m., and Butterworth estimates the “imminent birth” call had only come 30 minutes before.
One paid-on-call firefighter went to the woman’s house directly from his own home, and was providing patient care when the other five arrived, Butterworth said.
He said when they received an update that the ambulance was delayed, he felt there was still enough time before the baby arrived if they continued providing care. He was wrong.
Four firefighters welcomed the girl into the world in her mom’s bedroom.
“Everything happened very quickly. (She) cried right away, so obviously we were very relieved,” Butterworth said, adding all the vitals, breathing, and circulation were strong.
“We were able to give the baby to the mom so she was on her chest … It was a pretty amazing event.”
The paramedics arrived about two minutes after the birth, Butterworth said.
Mission Fire Rescue Service follows the Red Cross protocols for first responder training, so all firefighters specifically train for childbirths once every three years along with things like CPR and bleeding management.
But no current member at Station 2 has ever had to actually deliver a child before, Butterworth said.
“I think that has to be very rare. It’s never happened to me,” he said.
The baby girl was born six pounds and six ounces, and was named Liliana.