On April 26 at 8:35 p.m. paramedics were dispatched to an obstetrics call for a woman indicating she was in labor. After nine long months, her baby was coming – in downtown Baltimore while outside thousands of angry protesters swarmed the streets.
The mother was ready, the baby was ready and so were members of Baltimore, MD Local 734.
Medic 15 arrived with Rescue One at 904 Pennsylvania Avenue, an address at the epicenter of the unfolding unrest. Paramedic Heather Helm and EMT Antonio Wallace arrived to find the 28-year-old woman lying on the floor. The woman, soon-to-be a mother of three, said that her contractions were occurring one minute apart.
The teams of Medic 15 and Rescue One agreed to transport the woman to the hospital. But before they could get her on a stretcher, the woman screamed, and then Helm noticed the baby’s head crowning.
Helm immediately began supporting the baby’s head and shoulders while the mother began to push. Within a minute (at 8:45 p.m.) the baby was delivered, a health baby boy, who immediately started to cry.
“We cleaned him up, suctioned his mouth and nose and placed him on his mother’s chest,” said Helm in an after action report.
They then loaded the mother and the baby on a stretcher, brought the two outside and transported them to the hospital about a mile away. There, the father was able to cut the cord on his newborn son with the help of a doctor.
“I’ve been an EMS provider for 16 years, the last six as an ALS provider, and this was my first delivery,” says Helm. “I knew coming into the Baltimore Fire Department it would only be a matter of time before I would be delivering a baby.”
As it turns out, the baby is the first cousin of EMT Wallace, who was with Helm on the call that night.