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Westminster Mom Thanks Paramedics in Roadside Delivery

February 27, 2009
Westminster mom thanks paramedics in roadside delivery By Anthony Bowe The Denver Post Posted: 01/28/2009 05:42:56 PM MST Updated: 01/28/2009 05:44:27 PM MST LAFAYETTE — A Westminster mother was reunited today with two paramedics who helped deliver her baby on the shoulder of U.S. 36 in frigid weather Monday night. Casandra Garcia, 19, gave birth to son Daniel at 11:34 p.m. in the back of an ambulance after her Jeep Cherokee ran out of gas en route to Exempla Good Samaritan Medical Center in Lafayette. Garcia said her gas gauge is broken and does not register when gas levels are below one-quarter full. In 2-degree temperatures, Westminster Fire Rescue paramedics said the biggest challenge was keeping Garcia and Daniel warm. "Even on a warm day, that's hard. So we focused our efforts on that," said paramedic Jake Lieser, who delivered Daniel. During a press conference today, Garcia thanked Lieser and paramedic Nate Olson for their efforts. Lieser and Olson greeted her with a vase of tulips and took turns holding Daniel. "The EMTs, I don't know if I could have done it without them," Garcia said. Westminster Fire Rescue arrived on the scene next to the "Butterfly Pavilion Next Exit" sign at 11:25 p.m. and "two to three pushes" later, Garcia said, Daniel was born. He was a healthy 5 pounds, 12 ounces. Lieser said paramedics immediately prepped to drive her to the hospital, but when Garcia said, "No, this is happening right now," Lieser realized Daniel would not wait to make his arrival. "The most nerve-wracking part is telling mom, 'We're not going to make it to the hospital,' " said Lieser, who has now delivered three babies in roadside emergencies. "The suites here (Exempla Good Samaritan) have baby warmers, they're plush and a little better than the ambulance," Lieser said while laughing. Garcia went into labor at home at 10:45 p.m. after putting her 17-month-old daughter to bed. Daniel was due Feb. 21 . "He made a quick entrance into this world," Garcia said. "He's the biggest of my three children but gave me the least pain probably because he came so quick." Even though Garcia didn't make it to the hospital, she still had a traveling cheering section. Her mother was driving the car when it sputtered out of gas, and her sister and a friend also were in the car. Garcia's boyfriend, Daniel Hurtado, tried to calm her by cellphone before the paramedics arrived. "She was kind of just yelling at the time," Hurtado said. Anthony Bowe: 720-382-6774 or abowe@denverpost.com