Spring Valley firefighters were handling a gasoline spill on Union Road when a taxicab drove up with the woman in labor inside.
SPRING VALLEY – Fire Chief Ken Sohlman and two other volunteers can now add delivering a baby to their resume of good deeds.
The firefighters were mopping up a gasoline spill from a car’s ruptured tank near 1 Union Road at about 10 a.m. this morning when a taxi came screeching up to the scene.
“The tax cab driver pulls up and says he has a female passenger in labor,” Sohlman said, still exhilarated not long after the birth.
Sohlman, Lt. Jason Dennison and fire truck-driver Eric Mann helped the woman out of the back of the cab, placed her on the ground and tried to keep her and themselves calm.
Nature soon took its course.
“When we got her on the ground, the baby’s head already was appearing,” Sohlman said. “She pushed the baby out.”
Her son entered the world around 10:15 a.m.
Spring Hill Ambulance and Rockland Paramedics Services arrived, checking out the mother and baby, before driving them to Nyack Hospital.
Sohlman said the firefighters didn’t get the mother’s name. She spoke Spanish, though communication was not much of an issue since she seemed to know what she was doing.
“She knew the baby was coming,” said Fire Police Capt. Justin Schwartz, a department public information officer, “Her contractions were less than a minute apart.”
The birth was a first for the volunteers, who battle fires and remove injured people from car wrecks as part of their more regular work.
“This is a great feeling for us,” Sohlman said, “especially after all the bad stuff we deal with. We do the best we can. We were in the right place at the right time.”
Schwartz said going to the gasoline spill was a routine call, but helping deliver a baby was a blessing.
“It’s a great feeling to bring life,” Schwartz said.