Paramedics help mom deliver baby while stuck in major traffic jam on I-15

Posted at 7:19 PM, Oct 06, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-06 21:19:35-04

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah -- They fought through rain and they fought through hail, but their biggest feat was fighting through gridlocked traffic to reach a woman in labor. Now these paramedics are being hailed as heroes.

The group came to a pregnant woman's rescue when she was stuck in Wednesday's traffic jam on I-15.

As much as we try to call these firefighters and paramedics the hero in this story, they say the real hero is mom.

“But this one, it just worked out perfect, we got there right in the nick of time,” said Todd Cowley, a paramedic and firefighter with South Jordan Fire.

These firefighters, like many of us, were stuck in the traffic jam on I-15 Wednesday. Then they got a call saying another person stuck in that traffic was in labor.

“We just kind of lucked upon it," Cowley said. "We just happened to be in the right area, and took us about five minutes from when we found out about it to actually get on scene."

Kirk Platt, another paramedic and firefighter with South Jordan Fire, said it wasn't hard to pick out the correct car.

"We found the description of the vehicle with a screaming lady inside of it," Platt said.

These firefighters and paramedics arrived on scene and quickly got to work.

“We hit the ground running, she was ready to go, so baby came fast,” Cowley said.

“I’m not the hero, it’s very much a crew effort,” said Josh Brown, another paramedic and firefighter.

Brown is the paramedic who helped deliver the baby.

“Delivery, usually the mom does all the work, and so it went really pretty well," Brown said. "The baby.... mom did the hardest part of the work, and we were there basically to assist."

But that assistance meant mom got to deliver her baby in the ambulance rather than in her car. It wasn't mom's first baby, so she knew what to expect.

“Just more excited that we were there in time,” said AJ Putnam, a paramedic and firefighter with South Jordan Fire, of mom's reaction.

Mom wasn't alone in her car. Paramedics say as far as they understand dad was there too. But, no matter who was there, without emergency lights and sirens they weren't going to get anywhere.

"If people wouldn't have been stuck in that traffic and blocking the emergency lane, those people could have drove themselves to the hospital,” Platt said.

These paramedics say they're just happy they were in the right place at the right time.

“That's what we gleam our careers off of, is those good experiences that we have, and that was definitely one of them,” Putnam said.

When stuck in a traffic jam it may be tempting to go out into the emergency lane and see what’s happening, but, these guys say please keep those emergency lanes clear and only use them for a true emergency, like taking someone to the hospital.