When a brutal December storm nearly prevented an expectant Colorado mother from reaching the hospital, a local public works team delivered—in a way.
After an unrelenting blizzard rendered roads impassable, the ambulance staff at Poudre Valley Hospital got creative. Looking for help from local road crews, they got it in the form of two graders and a front-end loader. The graders cleared the way, and emergency medical technicians (EMTs) gingerly placed the mother—now in labor—in the loader's bucket. The rough ride was lessened by a cot placed in the bucket, and EMTs packed equipment bags all around her so she and her soon-to-be-born child could ride in relative comfort. Two firefighters and a paramedic escorted her in the bucket.
“It was unorthodox, but it worked really well,” says Dollie Perez, an EMT on the call.
Emergency and road crews worked together on a total of six emergency calls that night involving childbirth. Three babies were born in the field because crews could not reach the hospital in time.
As for the loader delivery, mother and child are reportedly doing well. No word on whether she decided to name her child John Deere, however.