Fast-Acting Firefighter Delivers Baby in The Bronx, Saving Infant and Mother in Mott Haven Birth

NY Daily News - December 15, 2011

by Daniel Beekman NEW YORK DAILY NEWS

Engine 83 firemen defer to female colleague in home delivery

Kaden Bell could be the Bravest baby in the Bronx.

The bright-eyed infant was delivered by a firefighter on the bathroom floor of a Mott Haven apartment on Tuesday morning.

Firefighter Sarina Olmo of Engine Co. 83 coached anxious mother Maybelline Marti through the dramatic birth, cut the umbilical cord wrapped around Kaden's neck and held the tiny baby all the way from E. 141st St. to Lincoln Hospital.

"It was scary," said Marti, 19. "It all happened so fast. But the firefighters got here super fast. The lady firefighter was a lot of help. She kept me calm and told me my baby was fine."

Marti was shocked when her water broke at about 5:45 a.m. The baby's father, Larry Bell, saw Kaden's head emerge and had a cousin call 911.

"Before the firefighters came my baby was halfway out," Marti said. "I was so nervous."

Minutes later, the Engine 83 crew burst through the apartment door and Olmo, also an emergency medical technician, rushed into the bathroom.

"The young lady was lying on the floor," said Olmo, mother of a six-year-old boy. "The head and shoulders were out but the cord was around the baby's neck and he was stuck.

"I cut the cord and delivered the baby and he responded right away. He was very pink and he was beautiful."

Lt. Joseph Canty of Engine 83 was standing just outside the room with Bell and the rest of the family, passing equipment in to Olmo and an EMT.

"I heard Sarina tell the mother to push and seconds later I heard the baby cry," he said. "I was just happy to hear the baby."

All smokeeaters are trained to deliver babies, but the male firefighters of Engine 83 deferred to Olmo, Canty said. Firefighters often care for mothers in labor but rarely deliver babies, he said.

"I just wanted to help," said Olmo, 33. "There was no question that I was going to do it and that was okay with me."

Olmo wrapped the baby in a foil blanket and a warm pink and white hat from the family. She rode in the ambulance with Marti, holding Kaden safe and snug during the trip to Lincoln.

"I took the baby all the way up to the incubator," Olmo said. "The mother was great. She was a trooper. The doctors and nurses were surprised that everyone was doing so well."

Marti and Kaden will head home from the hospital Thursday with a teddy bear from Engine 83. The crew visited mother and baby at Lincoln on Tuesday afternoon and invited them to visit the firehouse on E. 138th St.

Delivered by the Bravest, Kaden could grow up to become a firefighter, Marti admitted.

"That would be so nice," she said. "If that's what he decides to do, I will support him all the way."