Polk County Fire Rescue crews delivered their first baby of the year in Winter Haven early the morning of Thursday January 5th. At about 3 a.m., Engine 451 and Medic 45 were dispatched to 406 Maggie Cir, Winter Haven, where 19-year-old Ashli Sawyer was in labor. About five minutes later, Polk Fire crews were at her home and knew there was no time to transport her to the hospital.
“The baby was coming and so we delivered the baby right at her home,” said Polk Fire’s Lt. Lance Meachum. “We delivered a healthy-looking baby boy and mom was also doing well.”
Ashli and her newborn Zander Fate Sawyer was then transported to Regency, which is a part of BayCare’s Winter Haven Hospital.
Ashli said she was at the hospital Wednesday evening, “but I wasn’t dilating so I was sent home around 11 p.m. and went to bed,” she said. “I felt like I needed to use the restroom around 2 a.m. and that’s when I noticed my baby was coming.”
Ashli was home alone and it took her while to reach her bedroom where her phone was to call 911.
“I named him Zander because the name means ‘defender of people’ and I wanted something that had a powerful meaning to it.” Zander is Ashli’s first child. He was born at 3:19 a.m. and weighed 8 lbs 3 oz and 19 in long.
“We are so happy for Ashli. Things like this do not happen very often, but when it does our crews are prepared. We wish Ashli and Zander the very best,” said Polk Fire’s Assistant Chief Rick Parnell. “Our crews often see and have to deal with horrible calls, but moments like this bring great joy to our crews.”
For more information, go to www.polk-county.net