SEYMOUR, Tenn. (WATE) — There were no empty hearts or appetites at Seymour Heights Christian Church Thursday as dozens gathered to recognize the ones who answered the call to action when two babies from separate families needed help.
“It’s not just from Seymour Volunteer Fire Department, it’s from different ambulance services, dispatcher, because it’s just a big team effort on a couple of pediatric calls we ran,” Seymour Volunteer Fire Department Chief John Linsenbigler said.
One of those calls included the early arrival of Evan David Heller on May 25.
“This was my first baby,” Devin Johnson said. “I didn’t know I was in labor and it was a big surprise. I thought I was having an allergic reaction to something we had for dinner that night and it turned out it wasn’t. He wanted to make his big debut early.”
Kevin Heller, baby Evan’s dad, made the call to 911 and was connected to a Blount County dispatcher named Charity. Chief Linsenbigler, Blount County paramedic Nelson Fields and his partner Josh Williams responded to the family’s 911 call that day.
“The baby was delivered prior to our response. The dispatcher from Blount County worked them through that process to get the baby to make sure the airway was open, so I came there and didn’t have to do much,” Linsenbigler said.
“Their team was just so wonderful and helpful with us,” Johnson said. “And they helped me with the birthing process after he was out and even cut the umbilical cord.”
Another Seymour couple, Katie and Dakota Christian, also received help in the nick of time on April 29 at the fire department when their baby went into cardiac arrest while on the road. Their baby, Harrison, has had health issues and the family was on the way to the children’s hospital to have him examined.
“Their guys were already outside working on the fire truck so they were able to get him out of the car super quickly because at that point, as soon as we pulled into the fire station, he was just not responding anymore,” said Katie.
Firefighters gave Harrison CPR and he came back to the light.
“The minute we saw his eyes, when he opened those big blue eyes again we knew that everything was going to be okay,” Christian said.
All the first responders involved in both baby emergencies were recognized for their swift action and the families they helped couldn’t be more thankful.
“It was definitely God intervening,” Christian said. “For them to actually be outside of the fire station because we were worried, they wouldn’t be there.”
Johnson added, “You don’t think of it as a customer service thing but my goodness, they did deliver, quite literally.
The two families were also given some cool merchandise for their sons. As they say, it takes a village.