Firefighter delivers baby on highway

Frank Edward Mendez Jr. was delivered by a SSF firefighter in an ambulance on Highway 101

SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO (KRON) — A South San Francisco firefighter is receiving praise after he delivered a distressed baby on Highway 101 as emergency crews raced to bring a pregnant mother to the hospital.

City officials say during the predawn hours on Monday morning an ambulance was called to a home where a woman was close to giving birth. Paramedics were in the process of transporting her to a nearby hospital when the baby decided he couldn’t wait.

Fire captain and paramedic Jesse Lange delivered the baby along Highway 101 near Interstate 380. The crew immediately realized that the umbilical cord was wrapped around the baby’s neck and took action by providing resuscitative care, according to officials.

“I was really impressed with how calm the mother was throughout the whole ambulance ride,” says Lange. “When we first got the call, I figured we’d get to the hospital on time – but this little boy was ready to meet the rest of us.”

City officials say it’s been more than 10 years since Lange has delivered a baby, but his actions on Monday made it seem as if he had been delivering for years.

Officials tell KRON 4 that the baby, named Frank Edward Mendez Junior is doing well.

“It’s an amazing feeling to be a part of such a special moment,” said Lange. “Our crew was so touched that we have gathered up donations to provide a few gift cards to Target and Safeway, as well as a few t-shirts to give the family once they return home from the hospital.”

Plans are under way to have Lange officially meet the new baby and his family.

South San Francisco’s Fire Department requires every one of its firefighters to be or to have been a paramedic. South San Francisco is the only city in the county to operate its own stand-alone ambulance service. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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