Calif. medics deliver baby in ambulance near Walmart
The birth went smoothly and the responders say it's a call they will never forget
APPLE VALLEY, Calif. — Dousing burning buildings, battling brush fires and now helping to deliver a baby can be added to one firefighter's resume after he helped bring into the world a pink bundle of joy in the back of an ambulance along Highway 18 in Apple Valley on Monday.
“These are high-risk, low-frequency calls that get your adrenaline going,” said Scotten Young, 26, a firefighter/paramedic with the Apple Valley Fire Protection District. “That’s one of the exciting things about doing this job.”
When AVFPD responded to the call at approximately 6:30 p.m. on Hwy 18, between Milpas and Pioneer roads, they located a pickup truck by the side of the highway and a woman in the passenger seat about to give birth, Young said.
The woman and her husband, both of Lucerne Valley, were on their way to St. Joseph Health, St. Mary hospital when they realized they were not going to make it.
Young and Ken Phippeny, a paramedic from the San Bernardino County Fire Department, loaded the woman into the ambulance, prepared her for delivery and headed for the hospital.
But the baby had other plans.
“The baby was born on Highway 18 near Wal-Mart,” Young said. “It was a natural birth, no complications and the baby seemed healthy.”
The paramedics comforted the mother and kept the baby girl warm until they arrived at the hospital.
“Everything went perfect ... just like in the movies,” Phippeny said. “Having been through this before helped. It was a little easier.”
Unlike Young, this was Phippeny’s second baby delivery and he said he recalled his paramedic training to get both medics through the experience.
“All too often fire district personnel respond to calls for service that are negative in general and don’t always have a positive outcome,” said AVFPD Chief Sid Hultquist. “It is always a pleasure when fire district personnel are able to assist in bringing life into this world.”
Young said the call was not normal, or routine, and that it is one call he will never forget.
“It was an awesome experience,” Young said. “Thankfully, everything went smoothly.”
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