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First responders honored for saving newborn infant

The front of the George A. Smith City Council Room at Jackson City Hall was again crowded.

For the second time in 2024, an entire crew from Jackson Fire Department was getting a public commendation from Mayor Scott Conger for a job well done in a life-and-death situation during a Jackson City Council meeting.

The situation in question happened less than a week before, on Thursday, May 2, when first responders saved a newborn baby and her mother.

“I say it as often as I can that I think we have the best fire and police departments in America,” Conger told the crowed before he read a commendation proclamation. “And instances like this are proof of that.”

According to the commendation, a 9-1-1 call came in to Central Dispatch Thursday morning of a baby born in a toilet with the umbilical cord wrapped around its neck.

Bridgett Barnhart, Disree Tefft, Nikki Pennington and Raegan Kemper were all involved in relaying the call from dispatch to Jackson Med-Link (EMS) and the fire and police departments.

EMS dispatcher Brandy Reece instructed the 9-1-1 caller how to remove the cord from the infant’s neck and perform CPR.

Police officer Josh Keller was first on the scene and took over CPR.

Fire Engine 12 with its crew of Andy Gay, Paul Billingsley, John Lee and Hayden Towater were next and took over the care of the baby under the coordination of Battalion Chief Wemond Graham.

The care soon became more afvanced when EMS paramedics Nick Wiggins, Mattie Price, Scott Phifer, Chris March and Brian Anthony arrived along with JFD chief medic Matt Jones. They not only helped the baby, but the mother as well.

The newborn baby girl was transported to [Jackson-Madison County General Hospital],” the commendation said. “And because of the efforts of everyone involved, the resuscitation of this newborn was a success.

“The coordinated efforts of all personnel from multiple agencies represent the highest level of skill and professionalism that takes place daily within the City of Jackson.”

Brandon Shields, brandon@jacksonpost.news

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