‘A moving moment for all of us’: Firefighters help deliver baby in church parking lot

Firefighters in Tennessee helped deliver a baby in a church parking lot.
Published: Jul. 26, 2022 at 1:16 PM CDT
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CULLEOKA, Tenn. (WSMV/Gray News) - A family in Tennessee has welcomed a healthy new baby girl thanks to the quick response of four firefighters.

The mother was on her way to a hospital in Culleoka around 1:30 a.m. Sunday when she went into labor, forcing her to give birth in a church parking lot with just the help of her husband and volunteer members of the Maury County Fire Department.

The firefighters said they arrived on scene just moments before the baby was born. They had been trained on how to respond to a call like this, but it was a first for all four first responders that were involved, according to WSMV.

Critical care paramedic Fabian Oden was one of the firefighters who helped deliver the baby.

“I went to the patient and introduced myself, and by the time I got my name out, the baby was introducing herself to me,” he said. “Mom did an amazing job with delivering, and dad did an amazing job with supporting mom.”

Oden said helping deliver the baby in the parking lot was different from the nice and calm environment of a hospital.

“You know, the doctor that is delivering the baby and, you know, the nurses, but now you have six strangers showing up delivering your baby that you have never met and it’s dark outside,” he said.

The mother and father were still around 30 minutes away from the hospital when the 911 dispatchers they were talking with told them it was best to pull over in a large parking lot and get ready, Oden said.

The couple stopped at Stiversville Church of Christ and waited for around 10 minutes before first responders arrived from both directions. The mother was already laying on a towel the pair had put down in the parking lot, and the firefighters jumped right into action when they got there.

Oden is in school to become a doctor, and the other three firefighters are also either paramedics or certified emergency medical responders. Every Maury County Fire Department vehicle also includes medical kits that are designed for situations like this one.

Firefighter Savannah Maddison said the woman had a dream team assisting her in the delivery who were all helped by their training.

“It’s very rare to deal with childbirth as a first responder,” Maddison said. “It is something that might not happen for many people’s entire careers. This was a very fortunate incident, not only for the first responders involved, but also the mother. She had a department nearby, and we had such a quick response.”

Firefighters then helped load the mother and newborn girl into an ambulance that took them to the hospital, Maddison said.

Father Jimmy Lee Farnsworth said they brought Kyler Shaydin home from the hospital Monday afternoon. He said their other four children were overjoyed to get to meet their new baby sister.

The firefighters that helped welcome her into the world are also very happy to know she is healthy and look forward to meeting her again.

“It’s so often that we have to deal with situations of death and loss and just sad situations, so to be able to be a part of a beautiful moment that that family is going to remember for the rest of their lives,” Maddison said. “Although it was chaotic, it was just so life changing and a moving moment for all of us. We were very thankful for that.”

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