NORTH SMITHFIELD – Capt. Brian Gartland worked as an EMT for 25 years before it happened for the first time. But now, even newly hired members of the North Smithfield Fire & Rescue Service have witnessed the birth of little ones too eager to arrive to cooperate with their mom and dad’s plans.
Firefighter/EMTs helped with the delivery of two healthy babies in as many weeks, and grateful parents stopped by the station last week to thank the quick-acting staff.
Gartland was at the St. Paul Street station when the first call came in around 9:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 23.
Burrillville residents Anna Beth and Adam Girard were driving down Route 102 headed to Milford Regional Medical Center for the birth of their third child. But as the couple passed Leeway Hardware in North Smithfield, Anna realized they had run out of time.
“Basically, the caller was stating that his wife was in labor in the car, and they were pulling into the station parking lot,” Gartland said.
“I happened to walk outside first,” said Gartland. “There was a woman in the passenger seat telling me she was about to give birth.”
Others working the shift– Pvt. Michael Renaud and Pvt. Marina Morgera, who just recently started the job, quickly brought over an ambulance to help the surprise visitors. Gartland asked if the group could move Anna to a stretcher and deliver the baby inside the vehicle.
“She said, ‘no – it’s happening now,'” Gartland said. “There was no time to think.”
In his decades working as an EMT, Gartland said baby Evelyn Girard was the first he ever caught.
“It was really fast,” Gartland said. “Everything went perfect. (She) was crying right away.”
But sometimes, it seems, lighting does strike twice.
On Wednesday April 5, Capt. Brian Edge and Lt. Thomas McCooey were called to a home in Lincoln just after 4 p.m..
“Their rescues were already out on other calls, so we went on mutual aid,” McCooey said. “The baby was crowning as we walked into the apartment.”
All went well with that delivery – if not quite as planned for parents Manuela Sanchez and Sherwin Ramos – and baby Zion Prince Ramos was born.
It was also McCooey’s first, “catch,” an unusual occurrence, made all the more unique by the March delivery.
“We’ve been to many calls where the child is already out, or we get them to the hospital and then it happens right away,” Gartland said.
Both of the babies and their mothers are reportedly doing well.