Boston EMTs help to deliver a special Valentine’s Day gift

For one Dorchester family, their Valentine was an express delivery – a healthy baby boy born in the family’s living room by Boston Emergency Medical Services (EMS) EMTs Benny St. Fort and his work partner, Brandie Kilian. They responded to the family’s home just after 11:30 p.m. on Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, for what appeared to be a routine labor pain call. While upon first consultation the mother didn’t seem to be ready to give birth, suddenly the tables turned.

“We laid her down and got everything we needed and lo and behold her little baby couldn’t even wait to leave the house,” said St. Fort in an interview with the Reporter. “We delivered the baby right in the living room of their home.” The time was 11:59 p.m.

“This one, that baby was ready,” he continued. “Mom was great and did an amazing job. The joy they all had after it happened – that’s what we come to work for every day…There are a lot of sad and tough things out there and when you get the joy of bringing a life into the world, it reminds you why you come to work.”

The family, which prefers to remain anonymous, was gearing up for a trip to hospital when she felt the urge to push.

The home birth event lasted only 15 minutes, said St. Fort, who has been through this experience on several prior calls. He has helped patients give birth in a bathroom, and even surrounded by midwives during a water birth process.

In more than 15 years on the job, he has mostly been assigned to Mattapan and Dorchester, but it wasn’t until he was 24 that he set out on a path to be an EMT. While working multiple jobs at Home Depot, selling above ground pools and other “hustles,” he had a moment that changed things.

“I remember the moment because I was 24 and I was sitting on the couch and had both of my older kids beside me, and I said to myself that I had to find something better,” he said. “I wanted them to be proud of what I do and be proud to tell people what I do.”

While at first he was looking to be a police officer, St. Fort said that a relative who was a Boston Police officer suggested he get his EMT certification first. Once certified through Massasoit Community College in Brockton, he worked for Fallon Ambulance before pursuing a job at Boston EMS. At the time there were more than 300 applicants for 40 positions and the competition was stiff. However, he prevailed and gave up his dream of being a police officer.

With all that, he was in just the right position this past Valentine’s Day to “catch” the special delivery. “I’ve definitely had quite a few births in many different situations, but this Valentine’s Day was a memorable one,” he noted. “I’m always ready for it because in the end it’s all the same idea – I need them to push, and I’ll catch.”

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