Corbin firefighters are trained to use the Jaws-of-Life to rescue victims trapped in twisted steel, but Firefighter Anthony Horton recently called upon his EMT training to snag a newborn’s life from the jaws of death.
Firefighters Andy Melton, Anthony Horton, Tommy McDaniel and Trevor Allen were called to the residence at 230 Hatfield Street in Knox County about 3:45 a.m. on June 24 where a woman was in the process of giving birth.
According to Corbin Police Captain Scott Grove, when firefighters arrived, the woman had given birth but the child was not breathing.
Firefighter Horton took the baby and began stimulation in an effort to get it to breathe. When that didn’t work, he cut the umbilical cord.
“The baby opened it’s eyes for a second, but still wasn’t breathing normally,” Horton said.
Horton began chest compressions, and after 10 to 15 compressions the baby began breathing on its own.
The firefighters then gave the baby oxygen and Knox EMS arrived to transport the mother and baby to Baptist Health Corbin.
“Your training takes over,” said Horton, who has been an EMT since 1999. “You remain calm and do what you need to do.”
Horton, who was driving the pumper truck to the call, said firefighters have responded to numerous calls over the years concerning women who have gone into labor.
“I thought we would get there and help EMS load the woman into the ambulance and take her to the hospital,” Horton said. “Then we got another call from dispatch that police were on scene and the woman was giving birth.”
“This is the first time I have been on a call where the baby was actually here,” he said.
Horton drove the ambulance to Baptist Health Corbin while the ambulance crew worked with the baby.
Horton said hospital officials told him that the mother and child were both doing well.
“I’m very proud of him,” Corbin Fire Chief Barry McDonald said of Horton, who has been with the department since 2008. “He saved a life.”
“Usually, when we go on a run, it is death and carnage,” he said. “Horton brought a life into this world.”
The four firefighters were subsequently recognized at Monday’s meeting of the Corbin City Commission with a Certificate of Merit.