Rescue personnel deliver baby at home in Saginaw

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, April 16, 2002

In the three-and-a-half years Allen Anderson has been a firefighter with the Saginaw Volunteer Fire Department, he has responded to a number of calls of a woman in labor.

&uot;We’ve gone on them before, and they have a little pain and we just carry them on to the hospital,&uot; Anderson said. &uot;But not this time.&uot;

Just before 8 a.m. on April 4, Anderson and other rescue personnel from Saginaw VFD received a call for help from Curtis Horton of Alabaster who said his wife was having a baby.

When they arrived at the Horton home, Anderson said they found Toni Horton in the beginning stages of labor in the couple’s bedroom.

But when they returned less than a minute later with a stretcher to transport her by ambulance to the nearest hospital, Anderson said they quickly realized they were in for a home birth.

&uot;We knew we weren’t going to the hospital any time soon,&uot; he said, &uot;not until we had a baby first.&uot;

With no time to think, Anderson said the team from Saginaw and RPS Ambulance Service went to work, putting into action the training none of them ever thought they’d have to use.

Five minutes later, Tina Lynn Horton was born.

Anderson, who has children of his own, said the role he played in the birth was by far the most exciting experience of his rescue career.

So often, the department responds to calls where people have been in an accident, are sick, even dying, Anderson said.

He said it was fulfilling to see the cycle of life from its beginning, and the experience served to reinforce the reasons for doing what he does.

&uot;I was going around with a big smile on my face all day. I was telling everyone,&uot; he said, laughing.

Others helping in the birth were Saginaw VFD firefighters Greg Garner, Tim Miller and Anderson’s brother, Glenn Anderson; and Barry Rich and Will McKenzie from RPS Ambulance Service.

Toni Horton described her experience having her new baby girl.

&uot;I woke up, took a shower and immediately went into labor. I had no contractions or anything,&uot; she said.

She said, however, she was thankful for the speed of the rescue personnel who arrived within minutes of the 911 call.

&uot;I was scared. Anyone in that situation would be scared having a baby at home,&uot; Toni Horton said