Family thanks Lake Zurich fire crew for emergency baby delivery

Angela and Kevin O'Brien showed off their baby daughter to Lake Zurich firefighter-paramedics Friday as a way to thank them for bringing her into the world suddenly last week.

Paige Noelle O'Brien's birth in her parents' Lake Zurich house did not come easily, but she's healthy. Her big sister, 2-year-old Grace, was part of the celebration that included pizza for the crew at the main fire station on Buesching Road.

Angela O'Brien reflected on the emergency delivery as she stood next to one of the ambulances that responded to her house early in the morning March 30.

"I guess when I kind of realized that we weren't going to make it to the hospital, we just made that split decision to call 911," she said. "And once they got there, they had such a presence and a calmness that I really wasn't that nervous. I was just kind of in the moment."

Kevin O'Brien also praised the rescue crews for their calmness under pressure.

Angela O'Brien had planned to go to Highland Park Hospital to deliver her daughter. But she went into labor and it progressed so quickly that it became apparent she could not get to the hospital in time for the delivery.

Lake Zurich fire officials said two ambulances, each with crews of three, and a shift commander were dispatched to the O'Brien house at 12:40 a.m. They set up to deliver the baby on a bedroom floor.

Despite the baby being in a dangerous feet-first breech position, firefighter-paramedic Jason Kraus came through in the first delivery he's handled in his three-year career. He said he and his crewmates used their training and drugs, oxygen and obstetric kits to safely deliver Paige Noelle.

"It's a great relief," Kraus said. "You hope for the best. Those are good calls."

Ambulances brought Angela O'Brien and her daughter to Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital near Lake Barrington. She said they spent two days in the hospital.

Lt. Jeff Grant, the shift commander on the call, said he's aware of only two baby deliveries in his 28-year Lake Zurich career.

"You try to prepare for it," Grant said. "It's great that everything went well."

Baby delivered by Lake Zurich firefighter-paramedics

  This is Paige Noelle O'Brien. She was delivered at her parents' house last week by Lake Zurich firefighter-paramedics. Her parents brought her to Lake Zurich's main firehouse Friday. Bob Susnjara/
  Angela and Kevin O'Brien, second from left, thank Lake Zurich firefighter-paramedics for delivering their daughter, Paige Noelle, at the couple's house early in the morning March 30. Bob Susnjara/
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