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On-call firefighter heading home helps stranger in neighborhood deliver baby: 'Scary but exciting'

Essex County is proud of on-call firefighter Jennifer Adelle for helping a pregnant woman in labor deliver a healthy baby.

On-call firefighter heading home helps stranger in neighborhood deliver baby: 'Scary but exciting'
Cover Image Source: Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

It's a well-known and much-experienced fact that pregnancy and childbirth are some of the most physically strenuous and emotionally overwhelming processes that a to-be-mom goes through. Riddled with uncertainty, unawareness, palpitations, groans and some ice chips in between, it can be a daunting experience to go through labor, especially when you least expect it. Something similar happened this month with on-call firefighter Jennifer Adelle at Epping Fire Station when she was returning home from her prime job as a masseuse and came face-to-face with her neighbor who stopped her for help with a pregnant woman in labor. 

Representative Image Source: Pexels | MART PRODUCTION
Representative Image Source: Pexels | MART PRODUCTION

According to the press release of the Essex County Fire & Rescue Service, Adelle has received training for emergency deliveries. Her training came in handy that day when she was asked by her neighbor to get in the car and head to another house close by. Adelle shared, “The lady was on the floor pushing and the first thing I said was, 'Don't push.' When I got closer I could see the baby's head, so I told her to push when she was having a contraction.” Thanks to Adelle’s neighbor, who knew she was a firefighter, the woman who was in the crucial moments of her labor received timely help. She further explained that the delivery was quick and the baby’s immediate cry was a sign of everything being fine. She said, “I had him in my arms for 10 minutes or so before the paramedics arrived.” Once Adelle handed over the well-being of the mother and the baby to the paramedics, she left the site to clean and freshen up. 

Cover Image Source: Essex County Fire & Rescue Service
Image Source: Essex County Fire & Rescue Service

Sharing her experience, Adelle said: "It was scary but exciting at the same time. My fire service training, including my Casualty Care course, prepared me well." She revealed that she witnessed her sister-in-law’s labor the previous month which worked in her favor as she learned more about the process. She also credited and expressed gratitude towards her firefighting team, “I'm always grateful for my team's support and guidance, they help me every day to feel more confident.”  Their Crew Manager, Tony Wakelin, also shared a few words about the remarkable moment, "Well done to Jennifer for staying so calm in a very pressured situation. Bringing a new life into the world is extraordinary and very few people will ever get the opportunity; I’m glad she put her training into practice.” Wakelin also highlighted that this incident shows that “being an on-call firefighter is not a 9 to 5 job” and one has to be ever ready to help out people. 

The Station Manager Scott Ford also conveyed his pride and said, “I am very proud of Jennifer, what she did was truly remarkable and shows how our firefighters are there for our communities.” After a few weeks of Adelle’s exceptional performance of welcoming life, she bumped into the mother and the baby on Epping High Street. She said that the mother waved and thanked her and she shared, “It was good to see they were well.” There is no greater purpose in human life than to be there for another in their moment of need. While Adelle is a trained firefighter who knew what to do, the neighbor who stopped her to ask for her help deserves equal credit for standing shoulder-to-shoulder for a woman in need.

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