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Posted: 01/15/14

Bruce paramedics deliver
baby en route to hospital

by CHRIS GRAY
Observer Staff Writer
      The morning of Dec. 26 held a lot of firsts for those involved with the birth of Alexa Sutton.
       Katie LaFave and Tim Sutton of Brown City were on their way to the hospital the morning after Christmas to bring their first child, Alexa, into the world roughly a week ahead of the due date. Unfortunately, the drive to Henry Ford Macomb was plagued by 3 inches of snow.
       LaFave said her water broke at 2:40 a.m. and was worried they wouldn't make it in time, so the couple decided to stop at the Bruce-Romeo Fire Department Station 2 on Van Dyke.
       "It took us an hour to get from Brown City to Bruce Township," LaFave said.
       Sgt. Paramedic Dave Faulker and Firefighter/Paramedic Thom Stankiewicz were on duty when the couple arrived, and they moved LaFave into an ambulance to take her to the hospital. As the ambulance made its way down Hall Road, Alexa apparently decided it was time, so the paramedics worked with LaFave and delivered the healthy baby girl at 4:49 a.m.
       "They were great, they held my hand for every contraction," LaFave said. "It was the first time I was in an ambulance, and it wasn't that awful of an experience with the exception of no medicine, just IV fluids."
       Faulker said this was the first time he or Stankiewicz delivered a baby, but with their training kicking in the birth went well and without complications. They brought LaFave and Alexa to the hospital's labor and delivery unit, where Tim later met up with them.
       "It's one of those positive runs, you usually don't get those," Faulker said.
       Driving the ambulance was Captain Eileen Rhodes, who said she had been involved with delivering two babies in the past, but this marked the first occasion she drove an ambulance during a birth. She joked that Alexa wanted to go shopping, hence the delivery on Hall Road.
       "She is a girl after my own heart, she was born as we were approaching Lakeside Mall," she said.
       Faulker said a stork sticker will be placed on the ambulance to commemorate the occasion. He said he recalls the department handling three to five similar deliveries during his 26-year career.
       "Usually we get them to the hospital," he said with a chuckle.


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