"Neither rain nor snow ... "
Gates first responders might want to steal the post office motto after an early-morning delivery in the midst of Friday's snowstorm.
At 5 a.m. a Gates resident called 911 from her home and said she was in labor.
Getting to the residence proved challenging, according to Police Chief James VanBrederode.
The ambulance got stuck backing into the driveway. While the crew tended to the expectant mother, a Gates highway truck, the police and an ambulance-owned snow plow feverishly worked to free the ambulance and clear the snow-covered street.
The baby refused to wait. Baby Daniel Wyatt was born on the floor of the house with Gates paramedics coordinating the delivery. The infant weighed 9 pounds, 3 ounces, and mother and child were reported doing well. Authorities didn't release the name of the mother.
Gates Supervisor Mark Assini said the town would cover the costs associated with the birth.
RJ Kantowski, an EMT, and Laurie Schwenzer, a paramedic, were the first people on scene. Howard Road was plowed, but the side street "was not plowed at all," Kantowski said.
The "really long driveway" hadn't been touched, he added. Kantowski missed his mark when backing in and got stuck on the edge of the driveway. Schwenzer went inside, while Kantowski tried to get the ambulance free.
The mother's 11-year-old son was instrumental in delivering the baby. He directed Schwenzer toward the living room, but he had "prepped her after getting instructions from 911. It was very nice. I could hear her from the kitchen," Schwenzer said. "She was ready."
"...I just can't get over what a good sense of humor she had," Schwenzer added.
The mother's contractions grew closer together and the baby started crowning, so Schwenzer knew they wouldn't make it to the hospital. Meanwhile, Kantowski called in other crews to help get the ambulance free. They thought they would need another ambulance to transport the mother.
Krystal Doulbakian, an EMT, who arrived in the second Gates ambulance, said the timing was perfect. In the hour they were on scene, crews didn't receive another call.
"We were so lucky that we could all be there for this," she said. "We got to work as a team. It was perfect. Everything lined up."
In her 21 years as a paramedic, Schwenzer said it's the first time she's delivered a baby.
"A lot of times, we don't get to see the outcomes of our patients," Schwenzer said. "A lot of times, the outcome isn't good. But this is one of the times, where everybody worked together — police, highway, three ambulance crews, mom and baby — and it was just a beautiful, happy ending."