Kenneth E. Berkenbush, Chief
17 School Street
Amesbury, MA 01913
For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Aug. 3, 2016
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Amesbury Firefighters Deliver Baby on I-95 Tuesday Afternoon
AMESBURY — Fire Chief Kenneth E. Berkenbush is pleased to report that Amesbury Fire Rescue paramedics successfully delivered a baby on Tuesday even though she decided to make her first appearance on the side of Interstate 95.
Amesbury Firefighter-Paramedics John Kane, Michael Burke, and Ryan Casey responded to a home on Cedar Street at 4:40 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 2, 2016.
Upon arrival, they encountered a woman in labor. The mother was attempting a home birth and had a midwife with her at the home. At some point, there were complications that led the midwife to decide to call for an ambulance to take the mom to the hospital. Rescuers arrived within minutes and loaded the mother into the ambulance for the 8-10 minute drive to Anna Jaques Hospital in Newburyport. However, as the ambulance crossed the John Greenleaf Whittier Bridge on I-95, the two paramedics in the back told the third to pull over, as the baby’s birth was imminent.
Less than five minutes after pulling over, a healthy baby girl was born in the ambulance on the side of the highway. Suddenly, the firefighters went from having one patient to having two. They ensured that the baby was healthy and breathing, and then the ambulance continued to the hospital where mother and child were said to be doing well on Wednesday.
“We train for these kinds of situations all the time, but firefighters could go their whole careers without actually delivering a baby,” said Firefighter Casey, who has been on the job just seven months in Amesbury. “It is good to have a positive outcome.”
“The mom did the hard work. We just fell back on our training and helped her,” Firefighter Burke said.
For their efforts, Chief Berkenbush presented the three firefighters with a pink stork pin to place on their uniforms, signifying their baby-birthing experience. Amesbury Mayor Ken Gray also presented the firefighters with proclamations from the City of Amesbury.
“We are very fortunate in Amesbury to have firefighter-paramedics, who undergo extensive training, usually over a two-year period. This allows Amesbury Fire Rescue to provide our residents with an advanced level of service, because our firefighters are prepared for any incident,” Chief Berkenbush said. “I am very proud of their work this week in helping to bring a new life into the world.”