Greensburg fire chief, 91, assists in baby's debut in bookstore parking lot
By Bob Stiles
Published: Friday, April 19, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
Jon Quicquaro of Unity isn't a doctor, but he played one on Thursday in the parking lot of Hempfield's Barnes & Noble store with a seasoned veteran at his side to assist.
With 91-year-old Greensburg fire Chief Ed Hutchinson there with him, Quicquaro helped his wife, Rochelle, deliver their second child, Wesley, about 12:20 p.m. in the front seat of their car.
“It's a boy. It's a boy,” Hutchinson's distinctive voice announced over his fire radio.
The delivery was Hutchinson's third in more than 50 years as an emergency responder.
Rochelle Quicquaro, 25, said that at the start of the day, she had no clue she would be giving birth. As the morning progressed, she started to suspect otherwise.
About 11 a.m., she texted her husband, asking him to rush home from the University of Pittsburgh at Greensburg where the computer science major was scheduled to take finals on Thursday.
They headed toward Excela Health Westmoreland Hospital, but Wesley refused to wait.
On Route 30, they tried to make it to a nearby MedExpress urgent care center, but a traffic signal stopped them.
“The light to turn left (toward MedExpress) was red. The light to turn right was green, so Barnes & Noble it was,” Rochelle Quicquaro said.
“The contractions were coming so fast, and I could tell I needed to push and we couldn't wait on the ambulance,” Quicquaro said.
She reclined on the passenger seat of the couple's Volkswagen while her 25-year-old husband assisted from outside the vehicle.
“My wife was in a lot of pain, and I could tell she was pushing, and I sort of knew what to do,” he said.
Hutchinson and fire Capt. Jeff Henry were nearby and heard about the delivery on their radios.
“I got there and the head had started to come out,” said Hutchinson, who knelt in the driver's seat of the Volkswagen to assist with the delivery of the baby.
“(The father) kept saying, ‘Keep pushing, keep pushing,' ” Hutchinson said. “He did a good job.”
Henry draped a coat near the mother to give the couple privacy, and the firefighters positioned their vehicles to block the area immediately around the Volkswagen.
After the birth, Hutchinson exclaimed over the fire radio: “The ambulance is here. We're all right. We're all right.”
Rochelle Quicquaro, holding her sleeping son in the hospital maternity unit, praised her husband.
“He was really calm, really calm,” she said.
Jon Quicquaro said he was glad the delivery occurred as it did because he missed the birth of the couple's first child, Maci, 2, while serving in the Navy in Iraq.
“That has been a huge regret,” he said. “It was like fate or coincidence or luck that we were going to be in a car, delivering the baby. Wesley weighed in at 7 pounds, 11 ounces.
“This experience for me is exactly what I needed in my life,” the new father added.
Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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