A Georgia firefighter helped deliver his first grandchild while on duty at his own fire station last month, and the veteran first responder said although it was unexpected, his family is "over the moon" after welcoming the baby girl, named Adalynn.
"I've been in the fire service for a little over 28 years and I have delivered multiple children -- probably my best guess would be between 10 and 12 -- and so just natural instincts kind of took over to make sure that we had the right stuff," Bret Langston told "Good Morning America."
On the morning of Feb. 10, Bret Langston's daughter Hannah Langston said she woke up in the early hours with what she thought were contractions but tried to lay back down and "ignore" them for a while, because others had told her the laboring process would take multiple hours.
"I was like, we have plenty of time. Like, it's not that big of a deal," the 18-year-old recounted.
Later that morning, Langston, along with her mother April Langston and boyfriend Christopher Williams, decided they would start heading to the birthing center. Along the way, Langston said her mom suggested they stop at her dad's fire station so she could take a bathroom break.
"We stopped and as soon as I got out of the car, I was like, 'I'm not getting back in' and they were like, 'No, you're fine.' I was like, 'No, like, she's coming right now,'" Langston recalled.
Bret Langston was on one of his 24-hour shifts at Austell Fire Station No. 2 in Austell, Georgia, at the time. He also thought Hannah would have plenty of time, but it quickly became clear their initial plan was going to change, so he led his daughter to his personal bunk room at the fire station and the other firefighters started pitching in to help, locating the station's obstetrical kit and warming up towels.
"I cleared the bed ... [and] put plastic trash bags down on the bed. I [replaced] my sheets on there so Hannah would at least be comfortable, and we got started on that," Bret Langston said. "My wife called Hannah's doula and fortunately, she was only about five or six minutes away, and I think about 10 minutes after we got Hannah settled in, Adalynn came."
Hannah Langston said Adalynn's quick arrival was "shocking," but the baby girl came out healthy and without any complications and both mom and baby were able to go home shortly after the baby's birth.
"They put her on my chest and at first, I was just shocked … I looked at her and just looked around the room and I was like, 'Oh my God,'" Hannah Langston said. "It was just like unreal."
Bret Langston said he is looking forward to showing his granddaughter around the fire station as she grows up and said they share a remarkable bond now.
"It is definitely something I'll remember forever," Bret Langston added. "It became a little emotional for me because while this is my daughter and my granddaughter, and you know, she picked a peculiar place to enter the world, but it was very sweet and it's something that I will never forget."
Editor's note: This was originally published on Mar. 20, 2023.