Nothing Routine About “Routine’’ Trip

Ambulance BabyA routine transport of a patient from Genesis Medical Center, Silvis to Genesis Medical Center, West Central Park turned into a run that was anything but routine.

Emergency Medical Technicians spend an entire career and not have the experience Silvis Ambulance EMTs Jessica Adams and Josh Schatteman had.

Adams was driving and Schatteman was in the back of the rig with a patient being transported when a car stopped them by pulling in front of the ambulance with the hazard lights on and horn blaring.

“The baby is coming now,’’ Ron Epping yelled after he was able to stop the ambulance and get the attention of Adams.

Schatteman and Adams worked together quickly to prepare for a birth. Ambulances carry an OB kit of gown, gloves, and other supplies needed to deliver a baby. Adams, who only three nights before was teaching others how to deliver a baby in the field, barely had time to think about what she was about to do. Within three minutes, little Ethan Epping had been born at the Middle Road exit from Interstate 74.

“You are trained to deliver a baby in basic EMT class, but you never expect you will use the training,’’ said Adams. “It just happened so fast that there wasn’t time to think about what I was doing.

“I didn’t realize until after I got back in the ambulance how it affected me. I was shaking. It was very exciting.’’

Schatteman said, “At the moment the baby is born, it seems like everything goes still and you are just waiting for that first cry.’’

Ethan obliged.

There were no complications and the delivery went according to training. The two EMTs followed protocol, which calls for the more experienced EMT to stay in the rig with the patient being transported.

“Jessica had had OB training so I stayed with our patient. The patient was stable or we would have had to come up with another plan. We would have either waited for another ambulance, or we would have put the mom in the ambulance and run with lights and siren,’’ Schatteman explained. “The patient we were transporting wasn’t in any immediate danger and in fact, all she wanted to know when we got to the hospital was how the baby was doing.’’

Schatteman and Adams both have two children of their own and Schatteman was allowed to help deliver one of his children when he was in EMT training.

Adams was so excited she couldn’t sleep that night. She woke up at 4 a.m. thinking about the baby.

“I went out and bought the baby a toy ambulance and a sleeper with ambulances and fire trucks on it and went to see the family in the hospital,’’ she said.

That toy ambulance may have special meaning to the family in years to come.

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