January 11, 2013

Baby delivered at Champlain border crossing


---- — CHAMPLAIN — A family of travelers returning to the United States from Canada on Dec. 23 received an early Christmas present when a woman in the vehicle gave birth to a baby boy.

Both the infant and his mother, who were not identified by U.S. Customs and Border Protection staff, were doing well following the delivery.

“The vehicle arrived at our primary booths, and an officer was inspecting the vehicle when the driver said he had someone in the back who was in labor,” Chief Michael McMullen of the Champlain crossing said. 

“As soon as the officer heard this, he had the driver pull into a secondary area and radioed inside for help from other officers who are trained (emergency medical technicians).”

Those officers, whom McMullen would not identify, responded to the situation and also called 911 to summon assistance to the U.S. port of entry on Interstate 87.

“The woman gave birth almost immediately,” he said. “From what I understand, it had all happened very quickly. They were able to grab one of our local medical bags and put gloves on, but she was definitely in advanced stages of labor when the family arrived at the port.”

The officers kept the baby warm while waiting for the ambulance, which arrived within a few minutes and took newborn and mom to CVPH Medical Center, with the rest of the family following in their vehicle.

“This is probably a first up here in Champlain, though I know it has happened in other areas,” McMullen said.

“We were very excited, and I’m very proud of the work the officers did. They have to be able to respond to emerging situations and handle them properly until help gets there.”

Many of the Customs and Border Protection officers are trained EMTs, McMullen noted, and many volunteer for area fire and rescue outfits as emergency responders.

As with any kind of medical situation where a civilian is taken from the border crossing to an area hospital, staff at the Champlain crossing contacted CVPH about a week later and learned that mother and son were doing well and had been discharged. 

McMullen said the crossing had not had any further contact with the woman or her family.

Email Jeff Meyers