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Firefighters meet baby delivered during Hurricane Irma

Newborn -- named Noah -- safely delivered at hospital thanks to rescue crew

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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – A St. Johns County Fire Rescue crew who braved harrowing conditions at the height of Hurricane Irma to transport a St. Augustine mom to the hospital so she could safely give birth to her fourth child met the little boy -- named Noah -- this week.

Priscilla Francois was due to deliver Noah on Sept. 25, but her water broke about 2 a.m. Sept. 11, as Hurricane Irma bore down on the Jacksonville area.

Francois said she knew right away that Noah was breach and would need to be delivered by cesarean section at a hospital, so her husband, Gregory Francois, quickly called 911, hoping the ambulance would be able to make it to his wife.

Lt. Jenny Nist, engineer John Bennet and firefighter Jason Flack came to the rescue, picking their way around downed power lines, flooded roadways and toppled trees in 65 mph winds to pick up Priscilla and deliver her and Gregory to Flagler Hospital, fire rescue officials said.

"The firefighter -- rescue man next to me was driving very, very carefully,” Gregory said. “There were limbs everywhere, branches, debris all over the road. It was flooding on the streets."

The hospital was running on a back-up generator and there was no air conditioning for the medical staff or Priscilla, but Noah was delivered safely at 4 a.m.

The Francois family stopped by the fire station Wednesday to introduce Noah to the rescue workers who made sure he made it safely into the world.


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