SOLON, Ohio — Too many stories involving firefighters and paramedics seem to end in tragedy, so the Solon Fire Department was more than happy to talk about a much happier encounter that, appropriately, rang in 2022.
Just after 5 a.m. on New Year's Day, Chagrin Valley dispatchers received a 911 call from a man driving his sister to Hillcrest Hospital in Mayfield Heights. She was in labor, with her water having already broken and her contractions just two minutes apart, and it appeared the baby's arrival was imminent.
According to Fire Chief Mark Vedder, the brother pulled over on the side of U.S. Route 422 in Solon near the Orange Village Line, and the dispatcher calmly gave him instructions while an ambulance rushed to the scene. Medics were soon there to assist, and just three minutes later the baby girl was born while her mother rested in a cot on the side of the highway, all while traffic whizzed by.
Both mother and daughter were later transported to Hillcrest, where they rested comfortably in the labor and delivery unit they had been traveling to in the first place. Perhaps as an appropriate bit of irony in these bitter winter months, the child was named "Summer."
"And so began 2022," Vedder wrote.