West Gate delivery unexpected for Airman, 435th firefighters

Monica Mendoza
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***Three-week-old Jordan Christina Dixon doesn’t know it, but this month, she made Ramstein history.

At 5:18 a.m. July 1, 6-pound, 15-ounce Jordan Dixon was born at Ramstein’s West Gate. She was the first baby born into the hands of 435th Civil Engineer Squadron fire, crash and rescue team. And, she was just perfect.

“It was amazing to be part of such a God-given act – to assist with delivering,” said Staff Sgt. Therman Watkins, 435th CES, E-22 crew chief.

Jordan’s birth certificate lists place of birth as Landstuhl. But, one day, when her first boyfriend comes over for dinner, Jordan’s mom will have quite a story to tell.

It was late Saturday night, almost morning, and Senior Airman Kenyata Jenkins, 435th Services Squadron, was studying for criminal justice and sociology midterms. She felt the contractions coming. Rubbing her tummy and talking to the little one inside, she said, “Just let me finish studying and then you can come.”

At 4:45 a.m. July 1, Airman Jenkins’ water broke. She grabbed her over-night bag and told her mom, Lesa Shannon visiting from Houston, it’s time. With Ms. Shannon at the wheel, they headed from base housing toward the West Gate at Ramstein, with Landstuhl  Regional Medical Center as their destination.

“I could feel the baby coming,” Airman Jenkins said as they approached the gate. They were not going to make it to LRMC, she said.

Ms. Shannon, a retired Army nurse, honked her horn to catch security forces’ attention and asked them to call an ambulance.travelhe crew from the 435th Civil Engineer Squadron’s fire station 1 and 2 arrived – Airmen 1st Class Jordan Lorenzen and Anthony Dalo, Senior Airmen Aaron Knudson and Colin Crow, Staff Sgts. Therman Watkins and Juan Rodriguez and Bernhard Diel. Airman Jenkins was at 37 weeks in her pregnancy and everything was normal, she told them, but the baby was coming two weeks early.

***image2***The rescue technicians broke out the OBGYN kit and directed the mom to lie back in the car. Airman Jenkins, who has a two-year-old daughter, was calm and didn’t need oxygen. She pushed twice and out came Jordan.

“We saw her head pop out and then we saw her shoulders, and there she was,” said Senior Airman Colin Crow, 435th CES. “We’ve got a baby on our hands.”

The 435th CES rescue technicians are trained in emergency delivery, including cases when a baby is breech. Their trucks roll out with an OBGYN kit and all Airmen on the crew test and are certified in the area. The kit comes with clamps, gowns, suction and a little beanie for the baby. This was the first time the 435th CES had to use the kit.

“Once we put (Airman Jenkins) in the back seat of the car, we just started talking to her,” said Staff Sgt. Juan Rodriguez, 435th CES, R-131 crew chief. “She was calm, and that really helped us. She was fabulous.”

The crew gave little Jordan a white baby beanie, they took turns taking photos with her and they all touched the little bundle. There were no complications and mom and baby went safely to LRMC, where they stayed for two days before going home.

The baby’s father, who is also in the Air Force and stationed at Langley Air Force Base, Va., missed the birth because she came two weeks early.

Airmen Jenkins, who works in the Jawbone flight kitchen, has three more weeks off work to spend with her girls. She promised to send photos to the 435th CES crew from that great day at the West Gate.

“When it was all over, we saw her drive off, we stayed behind to talk,’ said Sergeant Watkins, who admits he was a little misty-eyed. “One Airman said, ‘wow, we just helped assist in the greatest gift ever.’ ”