WESTMONT – In the process of his required 480 ride-along hours, a 25-year-old paramedic student recently had an opportunity not many people get.
Around 2 a.m. July 2, in the middle of his last ride-along with the Westmont Fire Protection District, med student Robert Deubel delivered a baby girl in an ambulance on the way to Adventist Hinsdale Hospital.
"It was a unique opportunity," said Deubel, a Woodridge resident. "Something you can learn from and that I'll never forget."
A call for a woman in labor at an apartment came in the middle of the night, according to Deubel.
"She said it was her fourth (child)," Deubel said. "We could tell we had some time but being her fourth, we knew we had to hurry up."
Adventist Hinsdale Hospital was about an eight- or nine-minute drive from the woman's apartment, he said, and halfway there she made an announcement.
"In one push the head was out and in a second push the whole baby was out," he said. "It was pretty exciting."
After graduating from the University of Illinois with a degree in kinesiology and witnessing two births in clinicals, Deubel said he knew what to do.
"It's just applying what you've learned," Deubel said. "You're a little nervous obviously, that was the first time I had to do anything."
He was joined by two other paramedics – Kathy Meier and Caleb LaLonde of the Westmont Fire Protection District.
"It was a team effort," Deubel added. "We had a whole crew, it wasn't just me. There's no way I would've been able to do it without their help."
In her 12 years with Westmont Fire, Meier said she has only seen two deliveries.
"We get people in labor all the time," Meier said. "But they always make it to the hospital and up to the ER."
Deubel recently took his final paramedic exam. Passing the two-and-a-half hour assessment will allow him to look for full-time paramedic jobs, he said.
Deubel recently took the final exam which will allow him to become an official paramedic. He said once he finds out if he passed the two and a half hour assessment then he can begin looking for jobs.
"Hopefully I get in the fire department somewhere," he said.
Lynn Dralle, EMS director at the fire department, said within the next couple of months or so there will be presentation at village hall, where the medics will receive Stork pins.