SPRINGFIELD, Mo.– Firefighters are in the business of saving lives, but how about bringing a life into the world?
One Springfield crew is reminiscing a year after an unforgettable assignment. It happened on March 20, 2020, at a woman’s home right around the corner from the fire station on East Sunshine.
It’s a boy, and he’s healthy.
“You just happen to be fortunate enough to be working that day and there’s a lot of dark things you see in the fire service, so it felt really good to be part of something really positive,” Captain Uli Gulje said. “It was a real bright spot, especially as COVID was coming down on the city and we had a lot of challenges. It felt nice to be a part of something very positive.”
Last week Springfield Fire Chief David Pennington presented a “stork award” to Captain Gulje and firefighter Ryan Ursino.
Firefighter Michael Burger also helped out, but he was out of town during the mini-ceremony.
Captain Uli Gulje says this happened on his first shift with Engine Company 7-B. His crew had to take the woman’s bathroom door off its hinges to get everyone inside a small space.
The baby was born in a shower. Ursino says this was his fourth delivery in his 16-year career.
“It’s an awesome feeling. It’s an honor and privilege to be in this position to where we can come out and help the community and serve them every day,” Ursino said. “And we’re all very fortunate to be in the position that we’re in. It’s a very humbling experience to have the recognition for events like this.”
Captain Gulje says this was his second baby delivery in 21 years. The first one was at a Brown Derby. He says he felt much better about helping out this time around.