SOUTHWICK – Southwick paramedics Jessica Bishop and Stephen Backman, along with EMT David Dobchak, were not sure what they would encounter when they responded to a 9-1-1 call from a pregnant woman en route to Baystate Medical Center May 19.
Bishop and Dubchak were the first on the scene and when Bishop realized the woman would not likely make it to the hospital, Backman was called in to assist.
While Dobchak drove the ambulance, the two paramedics delivered a healthy baby girl.
The pair earned their Stork Pins that day when their training and skills kicked in and they made sure both mother and daughter were well.
“We get a lot of calls for pregnant women in labor and most of the time they make it to the hospital,” said Bishop.
The woman said she knew the baby was coming and according to Bishop, “resigned herself that she was having the baby and was amazing.”
Southwick Deputy Fire Chief Rich Stefanowicz said Bishop also did an amazing job.
“She had a calmness about her and was a great leader on the team,” he said, praising all three staff.
“This is when training kicks in,” Stefanowicz said. “Everyone did a great job.”
Delivering babies is something EMTs and paramedics are trained for, but rarely put into practice.
“I’ve delivered three, but that’s over 20 years,” Stefanowicz said. It doesn’t happen very often.”
Bishop, Backman and Dubchak had never delivered a baby outside of training. Bishop said it was a very special moment in her career and she was happy to share it with Backman.
“I’m going on 11 years of doing this and when you start out in EMS, you just want to help people,” Bishop said. “Most of the time, you’re helping people during their worst days and you get defeated by seeing pain and suffering, but this was a good day.
“It was so exciting and rejuvenating.”
Bishop said during the delivery she ran through the worst-case scenarios in her head and how to respond to them. As the delivery continued, Bishop realized everything was going in textbook fashion.
“Once the baby is coming out the right way, you’re just waiting to hear a sound,” said Bishop, “I don’t think her toes were out and she let out a beautiful scream. It was a perfect birth.”