"Dark Horse" medics make good on delivery
April 28, 2009
FORWARD OPERATING BASE WARRIOR, Kirkuk, IraqAca,!"Doing more with less. Be ready to do things that are not in your Military Occupational Specialty. Soldiers are prepared for a wide range of contingencies while conducting operations in Iraq, but delivering a baby is a task most would not expect.
Soldiers from C Troop, 4th Squadron, 9th Cavalry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 1st Cavalry Division, did exactly that while en route to a combined security patrol with Iraqi Security Forces in the village of Dalish, Iraq, April 21.
As the patrol pulled to the side of the road to investigate a possible weapons cache hiding spot, 1st Lt. Jacob Lopez, a San Antonio, Texas native, and platoon leader in C Troop, spotted a vehicle racing toward his convoy.
Aca,!A"The first thing I thought was why is this vehicle travelling at a high rate of speed towards my convoy,Aca,!A? Lopez asked himself.
As the vehicle came to a halt in front of LopezAca,!a,,cs convoy, he stepped out of his vehicle prepared for what might come next. An Iraqi woman got out of the white truck and began yelling.
According to Lopez, he could not understand what the woman was saying, and at this point he heard his gunnerAca,!"who was in a higher vantage point and could see a second woman in the back of the vehicle, a pickup truckAca,!"yell down Aca,!A"I think the other woman is having a baby!Aca,!A?
Aca,!A"BabyAca,!A|Baby!Aca,!A? the woman exclaimed in English.
Lopez understood what that meant and called forward his medics.
Spc. Nicholas Martin, a Peoria, Ill., native and medic with C Troop ran towards his platoon leader.
Aca,!A"I didnAca,!a,,ct know what to expect,Aca,!A? Martin said. Aca,!A"But, as I arrived at the vehicle I could see a woman, obviously in labor, lying down in the bed of the truck with blankets wrapped around her, and the babyAca,!a,,cs head beginning to crown.Aca,!A?
MartinAca,!a,,cs medical training kicked into action, and he immediately began providing assistance.
Aca,!A"I started supporting the baby by placing my hands under the babyAca,!a,,cs head,Aca,!A? Martin explained.
At this moment, Pfc. Michael Guerrero, from Brownsville, Texas , also a medic with C Troop arrived to assess what was going on.
Aca,!A"I saw that he [Martin] was supporting the baby and needed assistance,Aca,!A? Guerrero said.
With the baby completely out by now, Guerrero took out a hemostat, which is a surgical tool that resembles a pair of needle-nosed pliers with a locking clamp, and gave it to Martin in order to clamp the umbilical cord to complete the delivery of the brand-new baby boy.
Aca,!A"At this point, I heard the baby cry,Aca,!A? Guerrero said.
The two medics finished wrapping the baby in a blanket before handing him to an exhausted mother.
Martin and Guerrero received medical training on how to deliver a baby while at Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas.
Aca,!A"In order to be a U.S. Army medic, you have to be an EMT [emergency medical technician], which instructs students on how to deliver a baby,Aca,!A? Martin explained.
According to Lopez, the entire ordeal only took approximately 30 minutes.
Aca,!A"It all happened in a snap of a finger,Aca,!A? Martin said.
The new father, Khaled Rihan Naser, thanked the medics for their assistance and continued the drive to a nearby hospital in Daquq, while the Soldiers prepared to continue on with the mission.
Aca,!A"ItAca,!a,,cs interesting to see how trained Soldiers work,Aca,!A? Lopez said.
Lopez explained that seeing Guerrero and Martin in action will help other Soldiers in the platoon build confidence in their medics.
Aca,!A"If they [Guerrero and Martin] can deliver a life they can save a life,Aca,!A? Lopez said.
Reflecting back on what happened; Martin was pleased to be able to assist in helping deliver a baby rather than treating wounds received during an attack, while Guerrero pointed out that this was another way to highlight how Coalition Forces were ready to help.
With the baby on the way to the hospital, Lopez and his men could continue on with the mission.
Aca,!A"I relayed to Command we had a baby born and are continuing on the mission,Aca,!A? Lopez reported.