Special delivery: baby born in back of ambulance


GREENE TOWNSHIP, PIKE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – It’s commonly referred to as “the miracle of birth”. But how a woman in the Poconos had her baby became a little more miraculous. Her bundle of joy arrived before she could get to the hospital. 

The Newfoundland area woman has three other children. But none of them entered the world the way her fourth did: in the back of an ambulance. And as Eyewitness News Reporter Mark Hiller explains, it’s what an EMT did a couple of days earlier that led to a very happy outcome. 

“I knew when we were here we weren’t going to make it,” said Jan Cornell on Tuesday. Holding baby boy Petey, the Greene Township woman is still amazed at how quickly her son arrived on the morning of February 22nd. “It was just from nothing to everything.”

In the middle of all this? A Newfoundland Area Ambulance Association crew with EMT Lorrie Crismon on board. “We headed towards Jan’s house and Jan was standing in the hallway here,” she said.

But just minutes into what would be a half-hour trip to the hospital, Petey had other plans. Lorrie and her ambulance crew had to call an audible and pulled into the Roundhouse True Value Hardware parking lot in Newfoundland to deliver the baby.

“Petey’s head was like almost half-way out and I’m thinking, ‘Oh Lord’,” said Lorrie who also thought about something she experienced earlier that same week: an obstetrics simulation course at Geisinger CMC which used a robotic mom and newborn to help teach how to deliver babies. 

Newfoundland Area Ambulance Association Captain Keith Stevenson said, “The thought occurred to me while we were going on this call that oh, it’s good. Lorrie just took that course.”

Having never previously delivered a baby, what Lorrie learned all came back to her in a flash. Demonstrating in an ambulance, she said, “I came along here, swung my leg over and started guiding the baby’s head out.”

Petey was born in the back of the ambulance which then resumed the ride to the hospital. Lorrie earned her first “stork pin” given to EMT’s who deliver babies. She also earned a mom’s gratitude. “It was truly the hand of God that drove her there and brought Petey here,” said Jan.

What made the suddenness of Petey’s birth all the more surprising was that Jan’s third child arrived after a 14 hour labor.

The baby delivery was the first for Newfoundland Area Ambulance Association in 25 years and third overall in its history.

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