Baby chooses Maple Ridge fire hall

The hospital too far away for Tara Payne, so Maple Ridge firefighters helped out

Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS Tara Payne holds newborn son Jack who was born at Maple Ridge Fire Hall No. 1 Friday.  On the left

Colleen Flanagan/THE NEWS Tara Payne holds newborn son Jack who was born at Maple Ridge Fire Hall No. 1 Friday. On the left

Tara Payne had everything under control.

Her pregnancy was a week overdue – but she wasn’t panicking.

Her bags were packed and she was ready to go.

Thursday night she had felt one-minute contractions, 10 minutes apart for three hours.

So, she knew something happening, but then the contractions stopped.

But on Friday, after a long walk and a nap while visiting her mother, Sandra Venning, the labour came on suddenly.

It was 4:45 p.m. when Rob Payne, Sarah’s husband, got the call at work.

He raced to Venning’s house on 256th Street to pick her up along with their three-year-old daughter Kate, and then took Dewdney Trunk Road towards the Ridge Meadows Hospital.

By this time Tara’s contractions were two to three minutes apart.

“They went from 10 minutes to three minutes pretty quickly,” said Payne. “It was like rapid.”

As Rob neared 227th Street traffic became heavy and they realized they were not going to make it to the hospital.

So Rob veered off Dewdney Trunk Road and on to the front lawn of Fire Hall No. 1.

“I banged on the doors and then ran around to the intercom and just said, ‘Look we’re going to have a baby out the front,” said Payne.

Firefighter Christ Gaudette heard the noise.

He told him he would be right out and ran to get help in the workout room.

The firefighters pulled one of the fire trucks out of the loading bay to allow Payne to back in his SUV in. While one truck left to answer a call, firefighters Gaudette, Mary Butler and Devin Ramsay helped Tara deliver her baby.

Ramsay rounded up the extra towels and had the oxygen ready.

Butler hopped in the back of the SUV and started asking her questions. How far along was she? When did her water break? How far apart are her contractions?

It only took a couple of pushes from that point and the baby’s head was out, said Gaudette.

“Once the baby’s head was out, I just told her probably one or two more pushes. Once the shoulders are out, the baby’ll come right out,.”

“So she pushed one more time and the baby came out,” he said.

“I just caught him and Mary assisted with sucking up the nose and the mouth with this ball suction to get the mucous out. As soon as she did that, the baby started crying.”

Jack Robert Payne, named after two of his great grandfathers, entered the world at 5:01 p.m., at 9lbs 6oz, with brown eyes like his dad.

“I just think it was so exciting,” said Tara. “I was lucky that he was healthy and I’m just so happy that he is finally here.”