Meet the mom who gave birth in TFD medic truck
TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - Each and every day, the men and women inside Tucson Fire Station 22 wonder what's next.
"It started like any normal shift," said paramedic Greg Kisiel, talking about Thursday, March 30.
Kisiel was in his normal station dorm room, when he learned he and Jonathan Grimes were needed.
"We got dispatched to what came in as a 'pregnancy problem,'" Kisiel said. "It seemed routine. We go on those every so often. Most of the time it turns out to be not much."
But Alice Rodriguez, who was around 35 weeks pregnant, wasn't messing around.
Rodriguez was wandering around her house around 6:30 a.m. when she knew she couldn't wait any longer for a ride to the hospital. Her mother decided to call 911.
"I said, 'you call whoever you want to, but I'm telling you - I can feel his head,'" Rodriguez exclaimed.
Life didn't wait. Medic 22 rolled out of the station on South Alvernon Way to pick up Rodriguez. It was not the birth plan she had hoped for. She was stuck inside the medic truck with Kisiel and Grimes.
"Greg had started talking to me. He was really nice and he was really caring. So then that eased me up a little bit," Rodriguez said calmly.
Unwittingly, he helped make her more comfortable, even if it was her third child on the way.
"I don't think she had an option, unfortunately," Kisiel said with a smile. "She was stuck with us."
He was trying to make her hold on as long as she could. They had intended to be able to drop her off at the hospital, and were telling her to try and remain calm.
Grimes was at the head of the gurney, towards the front of the truck, and Kisiel was at the foot of the gurney in the rear.
"Okay I was like, 'I'm sorry but I have to push.' So I kind of threw my leg over [Greg's] shoulder. And I threw my other leg in the window and I started pushing. So he really didn't have a choice but to go down and help out," Rodriguez said laughing.
"You go through your career in this job. 20, 25, or 30 years. And there are certain things you want to say, 'hey, you saw this or you did that.' Delivering a baby is a pretty special thing," said Kisiel, the 15-year paramedic veteran.
Kisiel explained it's a rarity for the birth to happen in the back of a medic truck. He said most of the baby deliveries happen in the home, with their help, or they are able to make it to the hospital.
The March 30 birth of baby Troy was Kisiel's first delivery.
Even more unique was what happened about two weeks later, with a chance for a reintroduction, with baby Troy and his paramedic delivery team. Parents Alice and Frank brought the child into the station Friday to say, 'thanks.'
"We were really excited when the family came to the fire station. Because it doesn't happen very often," Grimes explained. "We have a lot of contact with the public and we don't always see what kind of outcomes, post event, happened to them."
They'll remember this one, knowing they played a part. The hero paramedics saw the smiles as proof.
"It's one of those calls that you need in this kind of career. We see a lot of not so good stuff. This really lifts our spirits," Kisiel said. "It just kind of brought it all back, how these are good calls for us. It keeps us going."
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