Firefighters Deliver Baby Girl Outside Station
On Sunday firefighters with St. Andrews Fire Department helped deliver a baby girl outside their Bees Ferry Road station
CHARLESTON, SC -- The 911 call sounded around noon Sunday, and within seconds a local man was knocking on the door of an area fire station.
Johnny Campbell had just pulled up outside the St. Andrews Fire Department Station 4 with his wife Sara, who was in labor. They were heading to Roper/St. Francis Hospital from their home in Hollywood.
"The contractions came on very quick, and we realized enroute we wouldn't make it" Sara Campbell said. "Luckily Johnny remembered there was a fire station here."
"I remembered while I was on the phone with 911," Johnny Campbell said.
"We got toned out for a call, pregnancy, on Bees Ferry and 17," Capt. Patrick Henry said. "About the same time the guy was banging on the door saying we're here."
Just minutes later Caroline Ashley Campbell was born. Firefighter Ken Chapel literally caught her as she was born.
Henry and firefighters Chapel and Joe Udy were on duty at the time. Chapel is also an EMT and Udy has gone through EMT training — he's taking his certification as an EMT this week — and Henry said firefighters have received training for delivering babies since he joined the department in 1985.
Henry said the firefighters had just enough time to pull out their medical gear and drape a tarp over the Campbell's car before the baby was born.
"It really is a testament to these men, how prepared they are for any situation," Sara Campbell said. "They're ready, calm and prepared."
"You'd think by the way they handled it that they do it all the time," Johnny Campbell added.
Caroline Campbell was not the first child born at Station 4, Henry said. Another child was delivered at the station in the late 80s or early 90s, he said, and about nine years ago another SAFD firefighter helped deliver a baby in a taxi cab outside the station.
"In this business, if you stay long enough you see just about everything," Henry said.
"Luckily it was an easy delivery," Chapel said.
About 10 minutes after Caroline Campbell came into the world an ambulance arrived to take the family on to the hospital.
On Wednesday the Campbells returned to the station along with their other three children — Emily, 9, Jacob, 8, and Alli, 1 — to thank the men that helped them in their time of need.
Henry, Chapel and Udy also had a surprise for the Campbells, they presented the family with an engraved picture frame with Caroline's name and birthdate, and posed with the family for a photo to put in the frame.
"It's nice to have a call where everybody is happy at the end," Henry said. "We don't get a lot of those calls."