Special delivery: Caleb Butt makes Warwick Ambulance history

By on April 5, 2017
Zach and Megan Butt with Matthew and new baby Caleb, who was born in a Warwick ambulance on Route 501 last week.

Zach and Megan Butt with Matthew and new baby Caleb, who was born in a Warwick ambulance on Route 501 last week.

Caleb Butt was born on March 29 at the intersection of Route 501 and Lexington Road, just north of Lititz.

If you’re wondering what hospital that might be, there is no hospital there. Caleb was born in the back of a Warwick Community Ambulance, parked along the road.

It seems that Caleb was in a hurry to be born that day, a few days before his due date.

His parents, Megan and Zach Butt, live in the Cornwall area. Megan was home that morning with her two-year-old son Matthew. Zach was at work in Marietta, finishing up the night shift.

“I started having contractions around 4 a.m.,” says Megan, adding that she had been in labor with Matthew for 12 hours, so she figured she had plenty of time with this baby.

Megan’s labor started in earnest by 6 a.m. She had her mother come to the house to watch Matthew and called her husband. He was on his way home to get his wife and take her to the Women’s Place at Heart of Lancaster Regional Medical Center in Lititz, where the baby was to be born.

Caleb apparently had other ideas.

Dave Patterson and Kevin Cox of Warwick Ambulance enjoy "It's a Boy!" cigars.

Dave Patterson and Kevin Cox of Warwick Ambulance enjoy “It’s a Boy!” cigars.

“I called my mother-in-law and asked her to take me to the hospital. I knew there wasn’t time for Zach to get back,” says Megan.

Candy Getz hurried over and got her daughter-in-law in the car and set off toward the hospital. As Megan urged her to hurry, Getz drove along Route 322 as quickly as possible. When they got to Brickerville, Megan’s water broke. Getz called 911 and continued south on Route 501.

“The police told us to pull over, an ambulance was on the way,” says Megan.

That was near Lexington Road, not the best spot to pull over. By then, officers Joel Stoltzfus and Anthony Smith from the Northern Lancaster County Regional Police had arrived. Neither had ever delivered a baby before. They didn’t have to.

Moments later paramedic Dave Patterson and EMT Kevin Cox with the Warwick Community Ambulance Association arrived.

“When we got there, one of the police officers looked white as a sheet,” says Cox. “He was so relieved to see us.”

It was Cox’s first delivery of a baby, but for Patterson, it was his fourth delivery. His first was some 20 years ago in Erie County, while his second was in Strasburg and his third in Lancaster City. So, he was an old hand at birthing babies.

“The babies I delivered are now teenagers or older,” says Patterson.

Cox and Patterson got Megan into the ambulance, closed the door, and two pushes later baby Caleb arrived at 7:31 a.m. It was a normal delivery with no complications. And a very quick one.

“It’s a good thing that there were no complications. As a paramedic I am trained to handle things like a breech delivery. Everything went very, very well,” says Patterson.

Meanwhile, Zach Butt was rushing to Heart of Lancaster to meet up with his wife and mother. Then he got the news. “It’s a boy!”

His newborn son was on his way to the hospital with his mom to meet up with his dad.

Caleb stayed in the hospital for just a day when he and his mother were checked out and ready to go home.

“We are so grateful to the police officers and ambulance for everything they did. They were wonderful and we want to thank them for delivering our baby,” says Megan.

Frank Kenavan, executive director for the Warwick Community Ambulance Association, said that it was the first ambulance delivery since he has been with the association, and his personnel handled it perfectly.

As Regional Police Chief David Steffen noted, “I think our police officers are pleased to have been a part of it.”

“This is the call that every EMS provider dreams of having,” says Cox about his first delivery. “I could hardly stop smiling. I’m still smiling about it.”

Laura Knowles is a freelance feature writer and regular contributor to the Record Express. She welcomes reader feedback and story tips at lknowles21@gmail.com.

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