Eleven paramedics and emergency medical technicians from the Westfield Fire Dept. were recently recognized for their work in helping a local family deliver their newborn baby last month on U.S. 31.
Indiana Dept. of Homeland Security EMS Director Kraig Kinney honored paramedics and EMT personnel March 14 at the Westfield Public Safety Building with the Stork Award, which is presented to EMS-certified professionals who assist with a nonhospital delivery of a newborn as part of their EMS duties. Officials were called Feb. 15 to a childbirth in a car on U.S. 31 at 10:55 p.m. and upon arrival, it was determined that the baby’s birth was imminent, officials said.
“We were driving from our home in Kokomo to an Indianapolis birth center when my wife Rebecca went into labor,” said Jared Simoneaux, who was joined at the recognition ceremony with his wife Rebecca and their two children, including their newborn baby Anna.
The couple quickly called the birth center, which told them to pull their vehicle over and immediately call 911.
“Everyone remained calm, and we got the help we needed. The Westfield Fire Dept. did a great job,” he said.
Anna was delivered in the back of the ambulance while parked on the shoulder of U.S. 31. Rebecca and her infant daughter were transported to the hospital and later released, according to the city.
Kinney commended EMS officials for their work that evening.
“EMS professionals are called upon many times daily to respond to challenging calls that are often life-altering, including bringing new lives into the world. Another Indiana family has a happy story to tell for many years to come about how baby Anna was born with the help of the Westfield Fire Department,” Kinney said.
WFD EMS Division Chief Patrick Hutchison also gave credit to his fellow employees.
“I know that I speak for all of our EMS professionals in saying that we are honored to receive this recognition. But the best reward is knowing that patients we help of all ages can go home to their loved ones,” Hutchison said.
Honored at the ceremony were the following members of the Westfield Fire Dept.:
- Eliezer Rivera, firefighter/paramedic
- Lt. Steve Lamp, firefighter/EMT
- Joshua Brown, firefighter/paramedic
- Justin Austad firefighter/EMT
- Abraham Westerman, firefighter/EMT
- Tyler Hittle, firefighter/paramedic
- Joseph Walker, firefighter/paramedic
- Lt. Chad Everitt, firefighter/EMT
- Battalion Chief Tom Cline, firefighter/EMT
- Craig Burke, firefighter/EMT
- Capt. Pamela Taylor, (field resource paramedic)