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How the LA Fire & Rescue Squad Dealt with a Heart-Pounding Maternity Rescue
This was the mom's ninth birth — and the stakes couldn't have been higher.
The LA Fire & Rescue medics have seen it all. Whether it's a stabbing in the middle of the day or a man who goes into cardiac arrest on the street, these dedicated professionals know how to spring into action and deliver life-saving care — under pressure.
But a call in Season 1, Episode 4 rattled our guys more than usual, especially fan favorite Paco Lomeli. What was the call, you ask? A mother on her ninth pregnancy went into premature labor — while inside an RV. Our men had to execute a full-on maternal rescue, and it was intense to watch.
Here's what happened:
LA Fire & Rescue Season 1, Episode 4 recap
Station 16 was called in for a "maternal rescue." No other details were given. We soon learned the woman in question was 35 and in labor in an RV. Because this was her ninth pregnancy, the medics knew her chances of a speedier-than-normal delivery were high, which meant they needed to get to her ASAP.
"Delivering a baby is scary because you're going from one patient to now two," Lomeli said. "That second patient is way more fragile. It needs way more attention. As amazing [and] as crazy as that may sound, we're just firefighters. I'm not a doctor. I'm not in a hospital setting."
At this point, Lomeli and company were unsure if they needed to deliver this baby on site or if they'd have time to move the patient to a hospital. Naturally, they were hoping for the latter. Newborn babies require a room temperature of at least 68 degrees or they risk neonatal hypothermia — and the conditions in the RV were not conducive to this.
"Oh, it's coming, it's coming," the mother said as Lomeli got her up and walked her to the gurney to put her into the ambulance.
Contractions were coming at a rapid pace. "I started thinking, 'Oh man, maybe we should've stayed and delivered inside [the RV] versus trying to deliver this baby in the back of an ambulance.' And I definitely don't want to deliver this baby on the sidewalk," Lomeli said.
Station 16 medic Romeo Robles was tasked with jumping in the back of the ambulance and delivering the patient's baby if they couldn't get to the hospital in time. No pressure, right? "We'll take good care of you, OK?" Robles told the woman in a calming voice — a subtle but powerful example of the way these workers make their patients feel safe (even when the workers themselves are nervous).
Miraculously, the medics made it to the hospital just in time to deliver the patient so she could deliver her baby in peace. Nonetheless, it was a heart-pounding sequence of events — events that (yet again) proved the LA Fire & Rescue team can handle anything.