Duluth Fire Captain Reunited with the Family of a Boy He Saved

Brandon Weathers
Updated: July 15, 2019 08:53 PM

When Josiah Crowell was born on November 22nd, 2016, there was an unexpected complication.


His mother Sarah said, "It was about 12:30 at night, and I went into labor, and it was one of those labors that required an emergency call."

The umbilical cord prolapsed. Sarah called 9-1-1, and Captain Mark Herman with the Duluth Fire Department was among the first response team. He said, "We developed a treatment plan and that was to relieve pressure off the cord, on the scene, and on the way to the hospital."

The delivery was successful and a healthy baby boy was born. Sarah thinks Captain Herman made all the difference. "I think Mark and his whole team, he absolutely was a hero to us in terms of what he provided and also, just who he was at that time, at a time of crisis, to be able to have the calm, the competence, and just everything that he brought in that moment was wonderful," She said.

Captain Herman gives just as much credit to Sarah for her bravery. He said, "We have to be calm, that keeps the scene calm, in this case, she was calm, so we have a perfect result to show for it today."

They reunited for the first time since the birth by chance a few weeks ago when Captain Herman was in their neighborhood for a medical call.

Sarah said, "We lived only a few blocks away, and my son saw the car, and as many two and a half year olds do seeing a fire truck, he said, 'I want to go see that fire truck!'" The Crowell's ended up knowing one of the other firefighters on the call. They got to talking and made the connection.

Captain Herman said, "I was surprised that this child was already 2 and a half. It was amazing. Time just flies."

Sarah said the chance meeting was a wonderful opportunity for Captain Herman to get to see the outcome of his service. "I don't think they get to see that very often," she said.

Captain Herman described the meeting as the ultimate reward. "To be able to help a mom and a child out in any emergency scene and see such a positive, healthy result come out of it, there's no greater reward in a firefighter's career."

Sarah said it's important to recognize the role of first responders in the community. "We think of firefighters so often as fighting fires, but they do so many other things," she said, "I think Josiah is just great proof of how they help to save lives."

In fact, in 2018, the Duluth Fire Department received a total of 13,255 calls. Of those, only 232 were in response to fires, and 5,400 were rescue and emergency calls.


Brandon Weathers

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