BY LEN WELLS

Tuesday, March 30 was a very bittersweet day for two White County Ambulance Service crews. It will be a day the EMT’s won’t soon forget.

At about 10 am, simultaneous 911 calls came in to the White County 911 dispatch center. One was a call to an area along Illinois Route 14 near the Illinois State Police post. The other was to a private residence in Carmi. The calls could not have been more opposite.

The dispatch west of Carmi was a report of a large zero-turn mower upside down in a water filled creek. A passing motorist saw the bottom of a mower sticking out of the water and feared the worst. The ambulance crew arrived and quickly discovered there was probably little they could do to help the man trapped beneath the mower. The call quickly went from a water rescue to a recovery operation. Other emergency workers responded and pulled the victim from the creek. The man was 68-year-old Stanley Lewis – a man they all knew. Coroner Chris Marsh pronounced Mr. Lewis dead at the scene. 

“Everyone knew Mr. Lewis,” said Adam Allen, White County Ambulance Service Director. “Every time we drove past his place, we’d honk and Stanley always had a huge smile and gave us a big wave.” Allen added he often ran into Stanley at the local Wal-Mart and enjoyed chatting with him. Others described Mr. Lewis as “just the sweetest guy ever”.

At the same time EMT’s were working on Mr. Lewis’ accident, a second crew was responding to a 911 call about a woman who was possibly in labor.  “The crew got there, assessed the woman and determined she was indeed in labor and needed to be transported to Deaconess Gateway Hospital in Newburgh to deliver her baby,” Allen said. “The crew headed out towards Evansville and barely got onto Interstate-64 when the baby came. They pulled off onto the shoulder and delivered the baby right there.”

The mother, not identified due to privacy rules, delivered a healthy six pound baby girl. After completing the delivery, the crew got back onto the Interstate and completed their trip to Deaconess Hospital. “From what I’ve been told, the mother...

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