Norwalk firefighters assist one of their own with roadside birth
When the contractions first started around 1 a.m. April 19, Christina Dustin thought she had time for a quick shower before heading to the hospital.
After all, this was her second time through the childbirth process, and the first time had gone according to plan. Why would this time be any different, she figured.
But as the contractions began to quicken, she and her husband, Dave Dustin, started to realize this birth was going to be anything but conventional.
Dave, a Norwalk firefighter of seven years, quickly called for an ambulance, and then the two waited anxiously.
“I was obviously worried about my wife and baby, and hated seeing her in pain, but I was trying to keep her calm the best I could,” Dave said.
At first, Dave said, he feared he’d have to deliver the baby himself right there in their home’s hallway, but the emergency crews arrived shortly after the call.
But, as the ambulance sped down Newtown Avenue, it became apparent that they wouldn’t reach Norwalk Hospital in time. Instead, this was going to require a roadside delivery.
Where most people would be worried, though, Christina and her husband simply rolled with the punches.
“I know firsthand obviously that our first responders are great, so I knew she’d be in great hands,” Dustin said.
So Christina focused on her breaths as Dave, two paramedics and a handful of fellow firefighters assisted in the delivery. And, at 2:01 a.m. — less than 20 minutes after the 911 call was made — Ally Marie Dustin was born by the side of Newtown Avenue, south of Grumman Avenue.
The delivery was done without any complications, Deputy Fire Chief Chris King said.
“It went as well as a delivery done in an ambulance on the side of the road can go,” King said. “It was a real team effort.”
Dave said the whole experience was a little anxiety-provoking, but he was always confident that everything would work out for the best. Also, having some of his firefighting friends on hand helped offset some of the tensions.
“That definitely gave me some comfort,” Dave said. “But, my wife said she didn’t even realize that the firefighters were there. She was just focused on the pain.”
Ally is the family’s second daughter.