By Janee Law
As her contractions grew stronger and longer Monday afternoon, Tina Marie Ortiz and husband Juan attempted to make a run for the hospital, but their child had other intentions.
The couple hopped in their Chevy Tahoe, and started to pull out of the driveway of their Crawford Drive home in Dix Hills, but that was as far as they would get. The mother’s water broke, and she urged her husband to call 911, which he did.
Within six minutes, Suffolk County police officers and members of the Dix Hills Fire Department arrived at the scene to help assist in the birth of the baby boy, Blaise.
“I started feeling him come out and then all of a sudden the paramedics came, my husband took down my sweatpants and he was already in my sweatpants crying,” Ortiz, 34, said. “He came out in one, two, three… in a blaze of glory.”
She continued, “If it wasn’t for the Dix Hills Fire Department and Suffolk County police I don’t know what I would’ve done.”
Meagan Pereira, 24, EMT and Dix Hills rescue squad lieutenant, helped “carry him out.” She said bringing a life into the world was an amazing feeling.
Paramedic Chris Tremblay suctioned the baby and Pereira clamped and cut the umbilical cord before mom and baby were brought to Huntington Hospital with police escorts.
“We all worked together,” Pereira said. “We got mom and baby in the ambulance ready to go and we all worked very well together and they’re both happy and healthy.”
Assisting in the delivery was First Assistant Chief Tom Napolitano, Second Assistant Chief Alan Berkowitz, EMTs Louis Aquino, Thomas Nostramo, Jonna Brady and Martin Levy, along with drivers Matthew Antretter and Hillary Bogi.
“We’ve been doing this a lot of years, and seen a lot of people leave this earth, so to bring somebody in and be able to hold them is amazing,” Berkowitz said. It was the first time Berkowitz and Pereira assisted in an emergency birth.
The team followed the family back to the hospital where Juan, 44, thanked them for their help.
“Dad should be a chiropractor, he cracked my back pretty good when he hugged me,” Napolitano said. “Both parents were great and the crews were great. Even the neighbors were all out applauding and cheering, so I’m glad everything went well.”
Blaise, who was originally due Aug. 10, was born at 7:35 p.m. on Aug. 8. He weighed 6 pounds, 10-ounces and stretched to 19-inches. He returned home Wednesday to join his older brother, Massimo, who is 22 months old.
Ortiz added, “I’m just so thankful for the fire department and Suffolk County police for them being there and remaining calm in the situation. They were wonderful."