Vigilant Fire Company helps mother and newborn baby

Janelle Clausen
A Vigilant Fire Company ambulance with decals representing the number of births the specific ambulance has aided in and provided needed assistance. (Photo courtesy of Vigilant Fire Company)

Vigilant Fire Company responded to a woman in active labor on Monday, helping a Saddle Rock Estates resident just after giving birth to a baby girl.

When the call came in at 6:25 p.m., Vigilant Fire Company in turn sent out an ambulance with a state-certified paramedic, a car with another certified paramedic, and a fire company chief. They all arrived within four minutes, the company said.

Steve Karejwa, one of the two paramedics who answered the call, said that when they walked in they found the mother upstairs in the tub and the baby cradled in the father’s arms. But the child looked “a little blue,” he said.

“The baby didn’t look like she was breathing too good,” said Karejwa, a senior paramedic who helped deliver three babies in the Bronx while working in New York City as a paramedic for 30 years.

Using his skills as a CPR instructor, Karejwa helped clear the child’s airway, apply a respirator and pinch the girl’s arm to get her crying. From there, the paramedics cut the newborn’s umbilical cord, administered care to the mother and daughter and transported them to a local hospital.

Fire Chief Joshua Forst said that since the 1970s the company has kept track of labor calls by putting stork decals on ambulances, although there could be some overlap.

In total, he said, it would be safe to say the company helped deliver and treat more than a dozen newborn babies.

“Our team is uniquely capable of handling all calls, but we place a great sense of responsibility when responding to calls for women in labor,” Forst said. “Once again, the professionals at Vigilant handled the call with urgency and provided first-class care to both mother and child, ensuring a happy and healthy outcome.”

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