What started as a routine interfacility transport from Parker to Las Vegas took a bit of an unusual turn on Friday.
River Medical EMT Rick Blair was driving his ambulance from Parker to Las Vegas when a vehicle pulled up behind them. River Medical Operations Supervisor Chuck Waalkens said the vehicle was, “driving unusually,” with its flashers on. When there was enough space on the side of the road Blair pulled the ambulance over to allow the vehicle to pass, but the vehicle followed them into the turnout.
The driver of the vehicle asked for assistance from the ambulance because a female inside was in active labor.
“They were attempting to get to Havasu Regional for the delivery and it became obvious that the baby just wasn’t going to wait,” Waalkens said.
Blair assessed the situation and determined that there was no time to waste, so he called for paramedic Leonard Thomas to assist.
“Delivery was that imminent,” Waalkens said. “There was no time to do much other than get an OB delivery kit – which is basic stuff that is required to deliver a baby in the field. That was about all they had time to do before the delivery occurred.”
Waalkens said he was not sure what condition the mother and child were in as of Monday, but said the crew reported that there were no complications, and they delivered a healthy baby.
River Medical dispatched a second ambulance to pick up the mother and newborn child, transporting them to Havasu Regional Medical Center, and Blair and Thomas were able to resume their trip to Las Vegas.
Due to HIPA laws, the name of the mother and child and their current condition were unavailable.
Waalkens said delivering an infant outside a hospital is unusual but it happens occasionally – estimating River Medical preforms about five or six deliveries outside a hospital each year.
“It isn’t a routine thing, however, it is one of the procedures that they are well-trained and prepared for,” Waalkens said. “It just not an event that they are involved in really frequently.”