Lowcountry firefighters deliver baby at their station

Published: Feb. 10, 2012 at 12:37 AM EST|Updated: Mar. 7, 2012 at 4:53 PM EST
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LADY'S ISLAND, SC (WTOC) - Firefighters train for all kinds of emergencies, but Lady's Island St. Helena Firefighters had to put their skills to the test when they had to deliver a baby right in their parking lot at fire headquarters.

It's a proud day for Marine Cpl. Joey Depoyster and his wife Elena Hopkins-Depoyster as they welcome their new bundle of joy into the world, Austin Ryan Depoyster, weighing seven pounds and 11 ounces.

"This is our little guy, born in front of the fire house," said Hopkins-Depoyster.

That's right, Austin was born right outside the fire station headquarters on Lady's Island.

"On our way to the hospital, there was bad traffic and my mom was using her little blinkers to go around the traffic and I couldn't hold it anymore," said Hopkins-Depoyster. "I could feel him crowning and we pulled into the fire station."

Firefighters said they quickly sprung into action, putting their training to the test.

"I said, 'Chief what was that call and he said we're delivering a baby in the parking lot," said Firefighter Aimee Levesque. "The next thing you know we're grabbing equipment off the truck and ran out to the parking lot."

"I went up to the car and found the young lady and she was laid out in the front seat of the car, starting to have a baby," said firefighter John Norton.

"They made sure I was alert," said Hopkins-Depoyster. "They did an amazing job and I felt comfortable 100 percent. I wasn't freaking out. I just wanted him out."

Firefighters say in just minutes, little Austin made his way into the world and Norton was right there.

"I was grabbing the baby, assisting the mother with delivery," said Norton.

EMS arrived and took them straight to the hospital.

"It was a relief knowing we did our job and everyone was safe," said Levesque.

While this certainly wasn't the birth the couple planned, they say they couldn't be happier with the outcome.

Depoyster was working at Parris Island when he got the call and ended up meeting his wife and Mother-in law at the fire station.  He says he wasn't able to be there for the birth of their first son because he was serving overseas and missed out by just one day. This time he was right in the middle of the action, sitting in the front seat of the vehicle with his wife as she delivered the baby.

"They were real professional, trying to keep her calm, you know, everything," Depoyster said. "It was a good experience."

"It's an amazing story to tell," said Hopkins-Depoyster. "So when he gets older, he'll know exactly what happened."

It's a day, firefighters say they won't ever forget either.

"No, definitely not," said Firefighter Laura Maule. "It's going to be in my memory box for a long time."

"These calls are few and far between," said Norton. "You can go a whole career, maybe have one. To be my sixth is outstanding, that's why I do the job, helping the customers and the people."

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