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Members of Vernon Fire Rescue Services were tasked with a different call than they’re used to over the weekend.
Around 4:15 am on Saturday, VFRS was dispatched to an emergency labour situation in the 6900 block of Cummins Road, which is fortunately very close to Fire Station 2.
For that reason, firefighters arrived at the scene very quickly, but there still wasn’t time to get the mother to Vernon Jubilee Hospital.
“By the time we got upstairs, the baby was already coming so there was no time to get the mother to hospital,” said Trevor Keenan, acting lieutenant.
“We were first on scene, so firefighter Cody Grier jumped immediately into action and helped calm the mother, coaching her through a fast delivery with BC Ambulance Service dispatch on the phone.”
Grier had worked as a paramedic for 10 years prior to moving to the Okanagan to become a firefighter, so he was prepared for the task.
That previous training, as well as the regular emergency medical training provided by VFRS, helped keep all of the first responders calm during the fast-moving event.
“Our trainers do an exceptional job of preparing us for scenarios like this, even if we don’t see them very often,” said Keenan.
“We do annual training for a number of major medical situations, such as bleeding control, spinal injuries, and childbirth, and regularly review how we would approach various situations within our platoons.”
Grier said that this was a call that showcased the strong teamwork of Vernon’s emergency response agencies.
“There aren’t many times in your career that you get to congratulate someone and tell them they have a beautiful baby girl! The mother did such a great job. It was a moment to remember,” he explained.
Shortly after the birth, BC Ambulance Services arrived on scene and helped assess both the baby and mother, confirming that both parties were healthy before transporting them to VJH.