Firefighters honored after delivering baby at Richfield home

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A couple of firefighters in Richfield, Minnesota earned an honor many first responders go their entire careers without receiving.

Earlier this summer they helped deliver a baby who simply didn’t want to wait any longer. 

Now seven weeks old, Finley Erickson threw whatever plan mom dad had out the window the day he came into the world.

Around 2:30 a.m. July 5th, first-time mother Gina started to feel some contractions.

After calling her midwife and doula, Gina and her husband Matthew tried to follow recommendations to labor at home - until the intensity of the contractions jumped by 7 a.m.

“Both of us were surprisingly calm,” Gina said.

Calling their doula again, Matthew realized it was going to be nearly impossible to get his wife in a car and to the hospital.

“Gina says ‘I think you need to call 911,’ and I say ‘are you sure? Sarah our doula said she is going to be here in five minutes or less,’ and she looks me dead in the eye and says, ‘you need to call 911 right now.’ Got it! Immediately into action mode on the phone with 911,” Matthew said.

A benefit to living about six blocks from the fire station is that firefighters Mike Ziskorsky and Brian Wienholz arrived within five minutes followed by the Erickson’s doula and paramedics.

It was immediately evident this birth was happening at home. 

“It was a calm setting and all happened very quickly,” Matthew said. 

Armed with the delivery kit neither of them had used before, Mike and Brian felt confident based on their training - and the six combined birth's they've witnesses with their own kids.  

Assisting paramedics and helping dad cut the cord, Brian and Mike earned the highly coveted stork pins. 

Finley was born right in his parents’ bedroom at 9:11 a.m., barely 30 minutes after help arrived.

“You get a lot of praise saying you delivered a baby, but really all the praise goes to mom. She was a super champ to be able to do a home birth without any medications, and to have it go that smooth was amazing. We really were just active spectators, so hats off to her for real,” Brian Wienholz said.