ASHTABULA COUNTY, Ohio (WJW) – A local fire chief and his team of paramedics are getting a well deserved pat on the back after safely delivering a baby in a life squad along I-90.
The emergency situation began to unfold on Tuesday afternoon in the Amish country of Ashtabula County’s Denmark Township.
A driver hired by an Amish family called 911 and reported that he was rushing an expectant mother and her husband to the hospital when his minivan broke down.
The man told the dispatcher that the birth of the baby was eminent as they sat in the minivan in the parking lot of a church at State Route 167 and Route 193.
The fire chief and three paramedics from neighboring Pierpont Township responded to the call for help and based on what they were hearing from the scene, they knew they were going to have their hands full.
The Pierpont paramedics quickly loaded the 21-year-old expectant mother into the life squad and Fire Chief Thomas Marshall started driving to Tri Point Medical Center in Lake County.
But as they were traveling westbound on I-90, the chief says they realized the baby was not going to wait.
Chief Marshall told FOX 8, “We pulled over and within three minutes of pulling over, she delivered.”
The chief says the safe delivery of the baby was exhilarating.
“Ecstatic, ecstatic. It was my first one and I know it was the crew’s first baby too,” he said.
Family members told us off-camera that the young mother is doing fine.
It turns out her newborn daughter, who was given the name Martha, was born seven weeks early.
As a precaution, Martha was transferred from Tri Point to Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital in Cleveland.
The baby’s proud grandfather told us that he and other members of the close knit Amish community in Denmark Township are grateful that the fire chief and the paramedics were there for the family in their time of need.
Chief Marshall says delivering the baby was a special moment that firefighters and paramedics cherish.
“A great feeling, that’s what we’re here for. Serve the public, serve the community,” he said.