Island firefighters deliver baby at home

Reporter Staff

Mercer Island Firefighter Trever Kissel helped an Island woman give birth at her north Island home on May 21.

A call came in at midday, Wednesday, at the North Mercer Island Fire Station 91 for an imminent birth. Responding to the call were firefighters Lt. Curt Groscost, Mike Peters and Trever Kissel. The trio found their patient in labor, lying in the narrow hallway just inside the door at her apartment. She does not speak English. A friend who was with her served as an interpreter. A quick examination by Kissel revealed that the top of the baby's head was already visible. The firefighters, realizing they had no time to lose, quickly moved her to the bedroom floor, where they would have more room and went to work. When the baby's head appeared just a minute or two later, the umbilical cord was wrapped twice around his neck. With the baby struggling to breathe, and the equipment to help as yet unpacked, Kissel urged the mother to push again and was able to bring the baby out a bit further and unwrap the cord. With another few pushes the baby boy was born. The whole event took just a few minutes, Kissel said. "When a call goes out for 'imminent birth,' Bellevue fire is automatically called," he explained. "We had the baby wrapped up in a blanket and read to go by the time the Bellevue crew arrived." He said the baby and mother were doing well when they were taken to the hospital.

Kissel, who has hands-on experience assisting with the birth of his own son, was ecstatic. He has been an Island firefighter and EMT for 12 years. This was his first delivery.

"There are two big thrills that come from being a firefighter," he said. "One is carrying someone out from a burning building, and the other is delivering a baby."

More information on the baby boy and his mother has not been released due to privacy laws.

Island firefighters assisted in the birth of another Island boy in 2003. That baby was born in an aid car on I-90 during rush hour on July 8, 2002, next to the off-ramp to northbound I-5. Firefighter Herschel Rostov delivered the baby.

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