A little Princess returned to a Barracks Row fire station Friday morning to say hello to the DC firefighters who helped bring her into the world.
Princess Evans was born Monday, August 5 in the office at DC Fire House Engine 18 (414 Eighth St. SE).
‘Not Going to Make it’
Her mother, Ashley Little, lives on 12th Street SE. Knowing that the ambulance would take her to the nearest hospital, mother, father and older brother got on the bus to travel to her preferred choice for delivery, George Washington Hospital.
She said the bus had only gone two stops before she realized that she wasn’t going to make it in time –the baby was on the way.
“I thought she was about to come out,” said Little. “The metro driver was like, there’s a fire house on the street. They can help you,” she said.
She and the baby’s father, Larry Evans, hurried off the bus with their son Kyyng and headed for the fire house.
Firefighter and Paramedic Donna Tidaback was at the station when the family arrived, and together with Firefighter and Emergency Medical Technician Zeek Dziekan helped to deliver the baby. A mother of two herself, Tidaback said that when Little arrived at the station she was in a great deal of pain.
“Mom does all the work. We’re just here to catch them,” Tidaback said.
Tidaback said Little knew the baby was coming immediately. “We came in here and scrambled to make it as clean and safe as possible,” she said, gesturing around the office.
“I was in pain,” Little said of that work. “Then, all of a sudden, five minutes later…”
Princess Evans was born in the office of Fire House Engine 18 ‘about two pushes’ and only minutes after her family got to the station. She weighed 6 lbs and was totally healthy.
“It happened very fast,” said Tidaback. “Luckily, the faster the baby comes the fewer issues you’re likely to have.” All the necessary equipment to facilitate is on site, Tidaback added, although it usually isn’t located in the station office.
‘Very, Very Rare’
While Tidaback has helped to deliver three other babies in addition to Princess, she said the other deliveries took place in either homes or the back of ambulances. While people with health concerns will step into the station, Tidaback said that it is very rare that they see a woman in active labor.
DC FEMS said that Princess is the first baby delivered at a District fire house in recent memory, possibly in decades.
Little said she was grateful for the work of the fire station personnel, and glad not to have delivered on the Metro Bus. “I love the fire department,” said Little. “Everything to the fire department.”
‘It All Worked Out’
Father Larry Evans said he was so relieved that all was well. “It was quick and unexpected,” he said, “but it all worked out.”
“All she does is sleep and eat,” Little said, laughing as she gazed at her daughter in her carrier. They finally made it to George Washington Hospital by ambulance, where they stayed until Wednesday. Both Ashley and Princess are healthy and now doing well at home.
While his parents say that Kyyng was a little frightened as Princess was coming, Little said he is elated to be a big brother. “He’s very excited,” she said of her son, “and trying to be helpful.”
Firefighters at the station presented the family with a gift package, including a ‘Cars’ themed bed, table and chairs and toys. DC FEMS said that the gifts were sent by an anonymous person who had seen their story on the news earlier that week.
Little said that she and Evans chose the names Kyyng and Princess to remind their children that they are fighters. “We warriors,” she said. “We got to make our kids warriors, too.”
The two siblings share the same birthday. Kyyng was born two years ago on August 5 at the now shuttered Providence Hospital.
DC Fire EMS official Doug Buchanan said that while birthday parties are generally not permitted at District Fire Stations, Ashley and Larry can give him a call next year. An exception might be possible, he said.