Fort Sam Houston Firefighter Delivers Baby
May 15, 2008
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas -- It began as a typical Saturday, but ended with quite a surprise for Fort Sam Houston firefighter and paramedic Capt. Adam Martinez and local resident Jennifer Smith.
At around 8:30 p.m. April 26, a call came into the Fort Sam Houston Fire Department from San Antonio Emergency Medical Service dispatch, informing those on duty that there was a 36-year-old female in active labor at a residence on Fort Sam Houston.
Assistant Chief Matt Spreitzer, Martinez and additional first responders headed to the address on Engine 1. While en route, Martinez told the crew to get the emergency obstetrical kit ready.
When the responders arrived at the residence of the mother-to-be they were shepherded into the house by the patient's mother and shown the way into the living room, where a very pregnant Smith was sitting in a chair.
Smith informed her unplanned guests that her contractions were about two minutes apart and she was a few days shy of her 39th week of an uncomplicated and healthy pregnancy. She also informed the crew that this was her third child.
During training, emergency medical technicians teach future EMTs that if a woman is near full term pregnancy, having had previous children, with contractions less than five minutes apart, to be prepared for imminent delivery and birth.
As Smith answered medical questions her contractions were then at 90 seconds apart and Martinez's objective was to help make Smith as comfortable as possible and prepare her for the fact that she was going to deliver the baby at home, with the assistance of the EMTs and firefighters in her living room.
Meanwhile, Spreitzer had gone outside to wait for the ambulance to arrive.
Inside the house things were hopping. The baby wasn't waiting for ambulances or for anything. And by the time the ambulance had arrived a baby girl had been delivered to Smith by Martinez.
Debbie Hamilton, paramedic with American Medical Response's ambulance crew, assisted Martinez with cutting the umbilical cord and the baby girl was safely escorted into the world. Amber Smith's official birth date and time was recorded as 8:50 p.m. April 26.
Baby Amber weighed a healthy 9 pounds according to her mother. Both mother and daughter are doing fine. Amber's father is the military member and presently deployed. He heard the good news of the arrival of his new daughter shortly after her birth.
As far as delivering babies Martinez said, "In 16 years of being an EMT and paramedic, this is my first, and it was a "textbook delivery." It was a first for the entire crew and I'm glad that our firefighters handled the situation in a calm, cool and collected manner."
(Cheryl Harrison works in the Fort Sam Houston Public Information Office)