Sometimes when you least expect something to occur, it happens. A couple was traveling home from their baby shower in Redding when they stopped at the Chevron gas station in Willow Creek seeking medical attention. On Sunday morning, a Chevron cashier called for help as a father and mother were ready to give birth at pump number five.
“He’s like, I came from Redding,” said Alissa Hernandez, the Chevron cashier. “I’m like, oh my gosh, you passed one [hospital] coming through Weaverville. He’s like, I didn’t know. I was very nervous. I was scared. –She can’t drive any further.”
This family welcomed a baby girl. It took less than five minutes for the ambulance and police to arrive at the scene. Within 10 minutes of their arrival, paramedics Emily McTigue and Lucas Allen-Custodio delivered the baby girl.
“We obviously caught [the] baby, and me and my partner cleaned them off,” McTigue said. “Caught and clamped the cord and gave them to Mom. Went and got Dad who was waiting to leave with us. He was going to follow us down in his personal rig so he could come to meet their new child. Everything, Mom and baby were healthy and perfect.”
This was paramedic McTigue’s second baby delivery. Willow Creek is a rural area and situations like these are common. McTigue adds that many of her co-workers have also delivered babies.
“My boss has delivered 19, so I’m hoping to catch up to him,” McTigue said. “But, you know, I’ll take two for now. But any more, I’ll gladly accept it. [The] best days on our job is getting to help with those moments. It’s just beautiful.”
Soon after the birth, the family was taken to St. Joseph’s Hospital in Eureka.
“Daddy walks in, he comes back out, he says it’s a girl and it was so exciting,” Hernandez said.
McTigue’s boss says since he has worked at this site they collectively have delivered 50 babies. People on social media have suggested names for the little girl. Some suggested “Chevron.” Others like “Willow” for where she was born.