Brittany and Michael Maloney with William, 2, and Charliegh, born Dec. 28 at the Windsor/Dalton town line.
DALTON, Mass. — Brittany Maloney woke with contractions at 6 a.m., three days after Christmas.
She tried to relieve her discomfort with a yoga ball — but that apparently hastened the process. Soon her water broke so the family set out from their Savoy home to Berkshire Medical Center.
They only made it as far as the Windsor/Dalton line when Charliegh Mae Maloney decided it was time to enter the world.
Although Michael Maloney had some emergency training as a military police officer in the Marines, this situation was like no other, he said.
Brittany gave a "battle cry," he said, and then he caught Charliegh in his arm and kept on driving.
He called dispatch to request a police detail to get to the Pittsfield hospital. Dispatch urged Michael to pull over and wait for emergency personnel. But Brittany had had complications when 2-year-old William was born and, concerned about his wife's safety, Michael said that was not an option but agreed to drive to the fire station.
Firefighters had him pull his pickup inside and then assessed the well-being of the mother and child, clearing the baby's airways, cutting the cord, taking vitals, and maintaining the mother's blood loss.
The ambulance was out on a call. For 30 minutes, Michael sat at the station holding his baby girl as firefighters attended to Brittany until she could be transferred to the hospital.
Their teamwork and response to the Maloneys' emergency was recognized at Monday's Select Board meeting.
"This group of responders had to do this with supplies gathered from the supply locker as well as other vehicle first aid kits. This is where the teamwork of all the responders came into effect," Fire Chief James Peltier said.
"I would like to applaud all of them for the communications division, Police Department, Fire Department as well as the fire explorers on the scene. The saying, 'it takes a village' was very true that day."
He pinned each of the first responders with a "stork pin" commemorating their work.
The couple praised the first responders and are now able to laugh about Brittany's initial worries about leaking amniotic fluid on the truck's seats that had her insisting on changing pants as Michael was trying to get her out the door.
Luckily the Carhartt seat covers protected the seats and the couple joked how it would be a good advertisement for the company.
They are a little disappointed midwife Patricia Giardina couldn't deliver their second child before her retirement, or be able to video the birth. They've asked for a recording of the 911 call as a remembrance.
Brittany knew Charleigh was due on Dec. 28 but didn't know she was having a girl. Michael knew but kept quiet because Brittany wanted to be surprised.
"I was the only one who knew. I wouldn't even tell a random person," Michael said. "Everybody tried to get me to tell someone but I wouldn't, so I knew at 20 weeks."
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State Fire Marshal: Keep Warm, Keep Safe During Cold Snap
STOW, Mass. — With bitter cold temperatures heading our way this weekend, State Fire Marshal Peter J. Ostroskey is reminding residents to "Keep Warm, Keep Safe" and avoid fire and carbon monoxide (CO) hazards while heating their homes.
"Home heating equipment is the second-leading cause of residential fires and the main source of carbon monoxide at home," Ostroskey said. "Working smoke and CO alarms are your first line of defense against these hazards. With furnaces, fireplaces, and space heaters working overtime this weekend, be sure they're installed on every floor of your home and test them to be sure you and your family are protected.
"It's important to keep space heaters at least three feet from curtains, bedding, and anything else that can burn," Ostroskey said. "Plug them directly into a wall socket, not an extension cord or a power strip, and remember that they're intended for temporary use. Always turn a space heater off when you leave the room or go to sleep."
In a historic move fueled by the growing demand for skilled tradespeople and the evolution of career technical education, the School Committee has decided that Taconic is a solely vocational school. click for more