DURHAM — Four members of Durham Fire and Rescue were recognized at the Select Board meeting Tuesday for assisting a Lisbon woman in labor.

Chris Higgins, Noah Larrabee, Jere Waterman and Lt. Joe Lemont were each presented with a stork pin for their Class A uniforms, a tradition of EMS workers who help with the delivery of a baby. The ambulance transporting the mother received a stork sticker.

It is the first time members of Durham Fire and Rescue have assisted with a birth since adding emergency transport services in 2005, according to Fire Chief Rob Tripp.

On Dec. 27, members of Durham Fire and Rescue were called to assist a Lisbon woman with an imminent birth. The mother, who was 40 weeks pregnant with her fifth child, was put into the ambulance and transported to Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

“Anybody that knows childbirth knows that they come a lot faster with the more children you have, so we had a sneaking suspicion that this baby was going to come pretty quick,” Lemont said.

The ambulance was nearly at the hospital before the woman said she needed to begin pushing.

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“She was actively pushing as we kind of wheel through the doors, and probably within a minute of arriving at the hospital the baby was born,” Lemont said.

There were no complications during the birth, however Lemont said the obstetrical/gynecological training he and other members of Durham Fire and Rescue received just a month prior was “absolutely” helpful for dealing with the situation. Ambulance births can sometimes turn bad very quickly due to the limited resources available.

“I did make the statement, I said, ‘We’ve never had a baby born in the back of this ambulance, and we’re not doing it today,'” Lemont said. “I stuck to my word, we got her through the the doors of the hospital, but she kind of laughed after the baby was born; she kind of looked around for me and she goes, ‘I told you, I was close!'”

After the boy was born, Lemont’s wife picked him up at the hospital.

“I was telling her about it, and she goes, ‘You sat with your head between your knees for both of your kids, but you were able to deliver a baby?’

Tripp said only one of the four responders was on duty when the lunchtime call came in. At the same time, other members of the department were responding to a three-alarm structure fire in Brunswick.


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