Alabama Guardsman Online Magazine
Request a Guard Speaker
Photos and Videos
Alabama Guardsmen Rescue Pregnant WomanStory and photo by Sgt. William Frye
Traffic is at a standstill, gridlocked by winter weather that rolled through Birmingham, Alabama the previous night. It's now mid-morning on January 7, 2017. An Alabama National Guard, 168th Engineering Company, Heavy Expanded Mobility Tactical Truck Wrecker, and Humvee, snake through traffic on U.S. Highway 31, heading toward Brookwood Medical Center with an important passenger. Sgt. Wayne Hurst white-knuckle drives the Humvee while Sgt. Jonathan Griffith simultaneously coaches the driver and a woman in labor in the back seat.
Members of an Alabama National Guard mobility support team were making their way back to a Birmingham armory after working to maintain the flow of traffic on frozen interstates for 12 hours when they were flagged down by a Birmingham fire-paramedic crew. Griffith said, the team was asked if they could transport a pregnant woman who was going into labor to Brookwood Medical Center. "Sure," said Griffith. Staff Sgt. Terry Hanner, the team leader, began assigning jobs. Griffith and Hurst would take the Humvee, along with the paramedic and the woman. Sgt. Chase More and Spc. Maranda Moss, both with the 168th Engineering Company, would drive and navigate the wrecker.
The team traversed a concrete embankment to get around a traffic jam then cautiously progressed around stopped traffic and ice-covered hills toward the hospital. Hanner said at several points along the way he had to run ahead of the vehicles to scout the best way to proceed. We were just using our situational awareness on the fly to make the best decisions, said Hanner. "The good thing is we all responded fast enough to get her through it," Moss said. "People depend on us to help them out, and when we get the chance to do that, I feel pretty satisfied."
Photo: Alabama National Guard Soldiers with the 168th Engineering Company rescued a pregnant woman who went into labor during a winter weather event on Jan. 7, 2017, Birmingham, Alabama. Left to right: Sgt. Jonathan Griffith, Sgt. Wayne Hurst, Spc. Maranda Moss, Sgt. Chase Moore, Staff Sgt. Terry Hanner. (Photo by Army Sgt. William Frye).