Allegheny County

‘There was no going back’: EMS units help deliver baby on Highland Park Bridge

ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — Caitlin Fox knew her baby was coming when she dialed 911 on May 9. She said it quickly got to the point where she thought she would have the baby at home, but a more unexpected location became a makeshift delivery room.

Fox told our partners at the Trib: “It was about 7 a.m., and things started getting real. I started understanding that this was happening now, and I needed to get my butt to the hospital.”

The Trib reports that the 28-year-old had her baby, named Cambria Raye Gustin, halfway across the Highland Park Bridge on the way to West Penn Hospital in Pittsburgh. Cambria was born around 8 a.m.

“We got to the bridge and she crowned. There was no going back,” Fox told to the Trib. “In a speeding ambulance in the middle of the bridge, I pushed twice and she flew out.”

The Trib reports that Eric Gustin, Fox’s husband, was in Grove City for work. Fox was getting her other daughter Layla ready for school when the pain became overwhelming.

“The contractions were minutes apart, but I didn’t want to scare my daughter,” Fox said to the Trib. “I managed to, not so coherently, text (Eric) to go to West Penn, and I got 911 on the phone. God bless the dispatcher because I was really screaming. I was trying to breathe through it and talk to my belly, telling her to just wait a bit longer.”

A Citizens’ EMS crew comprising Brian Gouza, Cody Spann and Jim Erb helped deliver Cambria, and Fox told the Trib that the crew was “insanely helpful.”

“They just kept telling me to squeeze their hand, and I was screaming my head off,” Fox said to the Trib.

“It was slightly intense,” Erb told the Trib about how he was driving the ambulance when Fox gave birth. “You want to get in the back and help, but you got to keep moving and get to the hospital. Ironically, I hadn’t delivered a baby in 20 years on the job. And now, in the last year or so, we’ve done three.”

The Trib reports that the experience of giving birth on a bridge will be something the family remembers for a lifetime.

“I’ve been through pain but, man, was this on a different planet,” Fox said to the Trib. “The whole thing has me feeling pretty empowered.”