Calera Fire Department delivers baby

Justin Thomas, left, accompanied April Rawlins to the hospital after delivering her baby. (Contributed)

Justin Thomas, left, accompanied April Rawlins to the hospital after delivering her baby. (Contributed)

By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer 

CALERA — Despite having three other children, April Rawlins never experienced a birth quite like this.

With the help of the Calera Fire Department, Rawlins’ baby girl was delivered April 14 in the parking lot of the Calera Police Department.

“I’ve never gone into labor on my own, so it was definitely a first,” she said.

Just the day before, Rawlins’ doctor told her the baby wouldn’t be coming any time soon, so they planned to induce labor in two weeks. Baby Addison Raye Lucas had other plans.

By 4:30 a.m. the next day, Rawlins was in labor. Although she and her boyfriend left for the hospital, it didn’t seem like they were going to make it. Rawlins’ boyfriend called an ambulance to meet them at the police department.

Four members from the Calera Fire Department responded to the call, arriving on the scene before the ambulance. Responder Justin Thomas delivered the baby.

“I didn’t know it was his first time delivering a baby,” said fellow firefighter Renan Conte. “He was so calm and cool, and he handled it the way the training tells us to. (In situations like that) training kicks in and you aren’t really nervous. You’re nervous after.”

The four responders assisted in keeping Rawlins calm, reading her vitals and making sure she had enough oxygen through the entire process. Once they got Rawlins and the baby into the ambulance, Thomas rode with them to the hospital to make sure everything went smoothly.

“He really went out of his way,” Rawlins said. “It was the first time he delivered a baby, and he was very patient with me.”

Although she came three weeks early, Rawlins later reported that 8.5-pound Lucas was a very “happy, healthy baby,” and expressed her thanks to the Fire Department over Facebook.

“That was my first delivery,” Conte said. “The way I explained it is you witnessed birth and that’s a miracle itself.”