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Without backup and preparing for an imminent delivery

A volunteer firefighter/paramedic was in the right place at the right time for an expectant mother and her visiting family


After delivering an infant without backup, Josh Himes rode along to the hospital to translate during the transition of care.

Photo/Courtesy of Josh Himes

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After delivering an infant without backup, Josh Himes rode along to the hospital to translate during the transition of care.

Photo/Courtesy of Josh Himes

I’m about to share with you the most unforgettable call I’ve experienced. As I was getting ready to leave work for McCarl’s at the Shell Polymers Monaca plant for lunch around noon, a call came through for a woman in labor.

As a volunteer firefighter/paramedic we answer calls when we are available to do so. Our fire department operates a quick response service (QRS) on a volunteer basis to offer immediate support prior to the local ambulance service arriving.

Immediately after the toned call, I headed toward the address. I was the first to arrive. The home was full of people visiting from Honduras who didn’t speak any English. Thankfully, I am bilingual and was able to communicate with them.

I was then rushed into the bedroom where the mother was laying. Upon arrival into the room, I knew it was time for an imminent delivery. At this point, I was still without backup and preparing for delivery.

Within minutes, the beautiful baby girl was born without any complications during delivery. I immediately assessed, wrapped and cared for the baby. While holding the wrapped baby, backup arrived and I was able to hand the baby to a partner and prepare to clamp the chord. The team and I then cut the chord and delivered the placenta. It was a successful and safe complete delivery.

As we loaded baby and mom into the ambulance, the company asked if I would ride with them to translate. We all rode to the nearest hospital to transfer care. After the transfer of care, the physician asked if I would stay for a moment to translate the initial meeting and provide the necessary information.

Shortly after we were released and I went back to work for McCarl’s. As soon as I could, I called my wife, Brynn, to tell her what happened as I was sweating so bad and on such a high, I couldn’t wait to tell her. It was a true blessing, I am extremely grateful we were able to be there in time and everyone went home safe!


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This article was originally posted Sept. 13, 2022. It has been updated.

Josh Himes, PhD, is a firefighter/paramedic at Center Township Volunteer Fire Department. Prior to joining the fire department, he was a professional boxer and former All Americas champion. He works full-time in health and safety for McCarl’s. He recently earned his PhD in health education.

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