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Woman in labor rescued from ambulance stranded in snowdrift

February 25, 2019

FAIRBANK, Iowa (AP) — Firefighters have rescued a woman in labor from an ambulance stranded in a snowdrift on a rural northeast Iowa highway.

Seven volunteers with the Fairbank department answered the call around 3 a.m. Sunday. The ambulance taking the woman from Oelwein to Waterloo had gotten stuck on Iowa Highway 281 a few miles west of Fairbank. Assistant chief Kevin Bodensteiner (BOH’-dehn-steye-nur) said Monday that two department members with blades on their pickup trucks joined him and the department’s four-wheel-drive ambulance and drove through wind-whipped snow on the slippery highway to reach the other ambulance.

The trucks cleared a patch through the drift, and the firefighters moved the woman into the Fairbank ambulance. Bodensteiner says they then took a different but still dicey route to Waterloo’s Allen Hospital, arriving around 5:45 a.m.

He says the woman’s grandmother told him the young woman delivered a baby girl later Sunday.

Fairbank sits about 108 miles (175 kilometers) northeast of Des Moines.