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Minn. EMS crew awarded for saving baby from stolen vehicle

The new M Health Fairview Chief’s Award was created in response to the exceptional actions of the crew


Photo/M Health Fairview

By Laura French

SAINT PAUL, Minn. — A Minnesota EMS crew was recognized with a newly-created award after helping to rescue a six-month-old baby inside a stolen vehicle.

MHFV_Blog_EMTs_carjacking_abduction_2.jpg crew headshots

M Health Fairview Paramedics Craig Anderson (left) and Rodney Hillskotter (center) and EMT Rachel Ross were awarded for helping rescue an infant inside a stolen vehicle.

Photo/M Health Fairview

M Health Fairview EMS Paramedics Craig Anderson and Rodney Hillskotter and EMT Rachel Ross were awaiting calls when they heard on their radio scanner that a vehicle was stolen from a gas station nearby with the infant in the back seat, according to FOX 9. After hearing this, the crew spotted the vehicle passing by right in front of them and immediately began to follow it.

“I could not get my seatbelt on fast enough and put the ambulance in drive,” Anderson said in a statement.

The crew trailed the vehicle until it turned into a large parking lot, at which point Anderson pulled the ambulance over a safe distance away while Hillskotter stayed on the phone with police, continuously updating them on the situation.

Officers soon arrived and took the suspect into custody as he started walking away from the vehicle. The infant was located safe and unharmed inside the vehicle. The incident lasted about 15 minutes between the time the vehicle was taken to the moment the suspect was taken into custody, according to M Health Fairview.

Anderson said he felt “overwhelming joy when police officers showed up and took the suspect into custody, and knowing the child was safe.”

“If someone is bold enough to steal a vehicle, you never know what else they might do especially in a high-stress situation,” Ross stated.

In order to recognize the crew’s actions, M Health Fairview Chief of EMS Tom Edminson fast-tracked the creation of the new Chief’s Award, which was presented to Anderson, Hillskotter and Ross last week.

“We are very proud of the crew for their actions,” Edminson said in a statement. “They showed great awareness of what was occurring in the area that we serve and were able to notice the wanted vehicle quickly and report the whereabouts to our police department partners.”

The newly-established Chief’s Award is designated to “acknowledging the actions of our staff or others that go above and beyond the typical day to day work they do,” Edminson said.

“Usually, the police are on scene with us to assist with medical and trauma calls. It was very neat to be part of a team effort to get the kid back safely, assisting law enforcement for a change,” Hillskotter stated.

Anderson shared a message for parents after the incident, saying children should never be left inside a vehicle, even when running into a store for just a minute.

“Vehicle carjacking and child abductions can happen in the blink of an eye,” Anderson said in a statement.