Firefighters deliver baby in church parking lot


CULLEOKA, Tenn. (WSMV) – A family welcomed a healthy new baby girl thanks to the quick response of four firefighters.

The mother was on her way to the hospital around 1.30am on Sunday when she gave birth, forcing her to give birth in a church parking lot with the help of her husband and volunteer members of the Maury County Fire Department .

Firefighters said they arrived at the scene moments before the baby was born. They had been trained on how to respond to a call like this, but it was a first for the four first responders involved.

“I went to see the patient and introduced myself, and the moment I said my name the baby was introducing itself to me,” said Fabian Oden, an intensive care paramedic. “Mom did an amazing job delivering and Dad did an amazing job supporting Mom.”

“Being in that environment is different because usually they go to the hospital and there’s a nice, calm environment,” Oden continued. “You know the doctor delivering the baby and you know the nurses, but now you have six strangers delivering your baby that you’ve never met and it’s dark outside.”

The mother and father were still about 30 minutes from the hospital when the 911 dispatchers they were speaking with told them it was best to pull over in a large parking lot and get ready, Oden said.

The couple stopped at Stiversville Christ Church along the Pulaski Highway and waited about 10 minutes before first responders arrived from both directions. The mother was already lying on a towel they had laid out in the parking lot, which allowed firefighters to spring into action when they arrived.

Oden is in school to become a doctor, and the other three firefighters are also certified paramedics or emergency medical responders. Each Maury County Fire Department vehicle also includes medical children designed for these exact situations.

“She really had the dream team to come and help her with this operation, and it was really successful with this training,” said firefighter Savannah Maddison.

“It’s very rare to attend childbirth as a first responder,” Maddison continued. “It’s something that might not happen for many people’s entire careers. It was a very happy incident, not only for the first responders involved, but also for the mother. She had service nearby and we had such a quick response.

Firefighters then helped load the mother and newborn into an ambulance which took them to hospital, Maddison said. Everyone was in good health, but two firefighters accompanied the ride in case something happened to either patient, as most ambulances are only prepared for one patient.

Father Jimmy Lee Farnsworth said they brought Kyler Shaydin home from the hospital on Monday afternoon. She was born weighing 6 pounds. and 15 oz. and measures 19″ long.

Farnsworth said their four other children were thrilled to meet their new baby sister.

The firefighters who helped welcome her into the world are also very happy to know that she is healthy and look forward to seeing her again.

“It’s so often that we have to deal with situations of death and loss and just sad situations, so that we can be part of a beautiful moment that this family will remember for the rest of their lives,” said Maddison said. “Although it was chaotic, it was such a life changing and emotional moment for all of us. We were so grateful for that.

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