Emergency childbirth is a skill our members learn and practice as EMT’s, but they don’t often experience it outside of training. Some of our members have noted they’ve gone 30 years before experiencing their first delivery on the job. On calls like this, typically they arrive after the fact or transport the patient before it occurs. So, when it does happen, it is a rare and special moment for our team.
It’s important to note that the training for this specific situation focuses on everything that can go wrong during the process – that is how you prepare for every situation. But, it also makes it an intimidating scenario to encounter. Despite the anxiety around these cases, the reality is that this is a natural process which usually needs minimal intervention to turn out well for both patient and baby, and our teams are highly prepared to intervene in the event of a complication.
These types of calls can be a once-in-a-career experience. Because of the rare nature of these calls, and their amazing outcomes, these are some of the incidents that stick with us for years to come and are worth recognizing. One of the most rewarding parts for our firefighters comes when parents bring the delivered child back to the fire station on birthdays to say hello! Hopefully we’ll see these littlest community members in the future. Below are images of our team members receiving their Stork Pins to commemorate their delivery efforts, along with brief summaries of our most recently instances of those firefighters welcoming Renton’s tiniest community members into the world:
- 2021 – A313 (Firefighter Boltz and Firefighter Retherford) were called to an imminent birth at an apartment complex. The baby was on her way and the crew opened up the kit to start preparing. Pat and Travis noticed the baby’s umbilical cord was wrapped around their neck, and they did just what they were trained to do by slipping the cord over the baby’s head to relieve the pressure. A few minutes later, a healthy baby girl arrived! Both mom and child are healthy and doing well.
- 2022 – A312 (Firefighter Bloom and Firefighter Pageau) were called to an imminent birth at a home. This was child number 7 for the parents, so the baby girl was arriving fast! She was delivered with no complications before the medics arrived, and both baby and Mom are doing well. This was a first delivery for Bloom and Pageau, and they hope to see the family again.