Baby on Base

By Airman 1st Class Matt Porter | Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst Public Affairs | Oct. 21, 2020

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST, N.J. —

Servicemembers are faced with situations in their day-to-day jobs where they rely on training to carry out the mission.

Airman 1st Class Lexxy Chavez, 87th Healthcare Operations Squadron ambulance services medical technician, relied on her training essentials in order to deliver a newborn in the back of an ambulance on Joint Base MDL, Sept. 30, 2020.

The Los Angeles native admits being up for such challenges as this was the job she pursued when first joining the Air Force.

“For a large base it can be surprisingly quiet at times,” said Chavez. “As ambulatory technicians, we typically respond to abdominal pain or situations at the Fort Dix prison, not childbirth.”

Chavez and her team responded to a call that a resident had gone into labor on Joint Base MDL at approximately 10:50 AM the morning of Sept. 30.

“By the time we arrived, her water had broke and the baby was coming,” said Chavez. “She was crowning, so I knew we were short on time.”

The labor was noticeably short, which is atypical of a mother’s first childbirth according to Chavez.

“I realized very quickly that we weren’t going to make it in time to deliver the newborn at our facility, [instead] in the back [of our] ambulance,” said Chavez. “I told my driver to pull over and immediately went through step-by-step of how to deliver the child according to the protocol handbook.”

In a matter of minutes, the individual gave birth. This marked the first time a child had been delivered in the back of an ambulance on Joint Base MDL, according to Chavez.

“I was able to get the baby breathing and handed her off to the mother and paramedics,” said Chavez. “The father had been following behind and was able to cut the umbilical cord. It was an amazing experience to be a part of.”

One of Chavez’s supervisors also served as the ambulance driver during the delivery.

“I was impressed with how she handled the situation,” said U.S. Air Force Tech. Sgt. Kevin Marcelino, 87th Healthcare Operations Squadron ambulance services NCOIC. “She remained calm and collected the entire time, which is most important when in the presence of a patient.”