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INDEPENDENCE — One thing’s for sure – when it’s time for a baby to be born, it’s going to happen when it’s time, whether it’s in a hospital or in the back of a rescue squad ambulance.
This was the case early June 6 when the Independence Volunteer Rescue Squad was en route to Twin County Regional Hospital in Galax with a maternity patient.
The squad was dispatched to the residence of Jessica Billings on Old Bridle Creek. They loaded her onto the ambulance at 2:10 a.m.
Everything was going smoothly on the ride to TCRH until Billings’ water broke and her baby decided that it was time to be delivered at about 2:30 a.m.
Travis Liddle, a 16-year veteran of the squad, and Melissa Brady, a member for about five years, knew that they weren’t going to make it to the hospital. They pulled off U.S. 58 west of Independence near Rixey’s Market, with their emergency lights flashing.
A third member, Beth Robinson, who is also a member of the Baywood Rescue Squad, came to the scene to assist in the delivery in the back of the ambulance.
Liddle said after the untimely delivery the baby boy, who was named Alec Abel Skoski, and mother were doing just fine.
He said with a smile, “there was no waiting. The baby was going to be delivered now.”
After the delivery, they continued the trip to the hospital, where the baby and mother were examined in the obstetrics department. They spent the night and were discharged the next day.
Billings said her son weighed 6 lbs., 5 oz. at birth, and during a subsequent checkup he weighed in at 7 lbs., 9 oz.
She said her expected delivery date had been June 14.
Squad Captain Robbie Wingate said members had been trained in baby delivery, but this was the first time they had to use those skills.
“We’ve come close before, but this is the first actual delivery,” Wingate said.
The squad has been in operation since 1977.
Billings visited the rescue squad during a meeting recently and thanked the members for their help.
The squad presented her with an assortment of diapers, baby powder and other necessities for becoming a new mother.