No time for delivery room
By Ms. Laura London, 49th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
/ Published December 15, 2006
HOLLOMAN AIR FORCE BASE, N.M. --
Tech. Sgt. Scott Ballerstein, 49th Materiel Maintenance Group, and his wife Jessica are the proud parents of baby Mariah Jo-Lee Ballerstein, who was born at her parents' home in base housing Dec. 7 with the help of emergency medical technicians from the 49th Medical Group.
Senior Airman Daniel Hodges, aerospace medical technician, said he and Staff Sgt. Michael McFadden, ambulance response element shift leader, responded to a call that came in about 8:50 a.m.
"The call came in from (49th) security forces--there was a lady in labor," said Sergeant McFadden. "Her water broke and she was unable to walk." Sergeant McFadden said it happened so suddenly the woman could not get to a delivery room and the baby was born at her home.
Airman Hodges said the baby was born within five to 10 minutes of the EMTs' arrival at the home. "It was pretty quick," he said.
Sergeant Ballerstein said his daughter was born at 8:55 a.m. at a healthy 6 pounds, 10 ounces and was 19.5 inches long.
Airman Hodges said this is the first time he has delivered an infant, but Sergeant McFadden has done this before.
"Well, I worked in a labor and delivery unit for a couple of years at my last assignment," said Sergeant McFadden, who was previously stationed at Offutt Air Force Base, Neb. "But I never delivered a kid in base housing, just in nice controlled areas."
"The mom and baby were transported to Gerald Champion Regional Medical Center and our pediatrician, Dr. Brock, looked in on them later," said Lt. Col. Juliette Robinson, 49 MDG chief nurse executive. "Professionally, the medical technicians did everything they were supposed to do. They did an outstanding job. You don't hear about medical technicians delivering babies every day and I am just absolutely proud of them for their skill and professionalism."
"I evaluated the baby at noon that day," said Doctor (Capt.) Lee Brock, medical director of pediatrics at the 49th Medical Operations Squadron. "I talked to the staff at Gerald Champion and they said the baby was kept warm and everything was done right.
"One problem is, a baby is often cold when they get (to the hospital), but this baby had been well taken care of and wrapped up properly. As far as mom and baby, they're both alive, well and healthy. They went home after 48 hours and are just fine."
Captain Brock said 48 hours is the normal hospital stay for a mother and her newly born infant.
Sergeant McFadden has been at Holloman for 11 months and has five years' experience in ambulance services. Airman Hodges has been at Holloman for seven months and has three years' ambulance experience. Both Airmen are EMT basics and are studying medicine.