Jacksonville Daily Progress
As a veteran first responder, Jacksonville Fire Chief Paul White has seen his share of babies born during the course of his career. But never before in the lobby of a loan company.
That, of course, changed about 4:30 p.m. Thursday – when an expectant mother went into labor inside a car parked in the 1000 block of South Jackson Street. This is the strip mall area that includes Super Gallo Mercado.
At some point the woman moved or was moved to the nearby Thrifty Loans LLC – also inside the same mall area.
The baby's birth “came really fast,” the fire chief explained Friday.
Firefighters first became involved when a dispatcher notified them by radio of the “birth in the parking lot” situation.
“Everybody jumped in the ambulance and we went to the scene,” White said. “But by the time we got there we were told the lady was now inside the loan store. Someone also told us 'the baby is coming.”
Firefighters quickly learned of yet another development: The baby had breached – feet first.
“By the time we got inside the store, the baby had already come out,” the fire chief said. “The mother's husband or boyfriend had been there with her and caught the baby. One of our paramedics cut the cord and delivered the placenta.”
The baby and mother were quickly transported by ambulance to East Texas Medical Center-Jacksonville, just down the road. But by that point, “baby and mother were doing just fine,” the fire chief said.
The name of the mother and name and gender of her child were not immediately available Friday. An ETMC representative said without a name she had no way of referencing the case.
A woman who answered the telephone at Thrifty Loans LLC Thursday evening identified herself as store's manager but declined to discuss the birth. Over the phone, she sounded exhausted and seemed to have trouble speaking.
The manager could not be reached Friday when a second attempt to contact the store was made.
The intensity of the birth situation attracted a lot of local attention Thursday afternoon. One person contacted the Jacksonville Daily Progress to see if there were further details about the birth.
Many of the spectators waited in anticipation outside the loan store Thursday until the birth had concluded.
“When we came out of the store with the baby, they all started clapping,” the fire chief said.