EL SOBRANTE, Calif. - A family from El Sobrante is expressing their gratitude for firefighters who responded to their 911 call and helped deliver their baby who arrived days early.
Donny Dwayne Hogan Junior and his wife Patrice are the proud parents of a healthy baby boy born last Tuesday at his grandmother's home.
He arrived three days before his due date-prompting a call to 911 that led to a response from the fire department.
"The pain was just getting stronger and stronger. By the time they came, the contractions were two minutes apart, "says Patrice, "Never thought that it would happen this way."
The couple says a crew of three from Fire Station #63, just two miles away - came to the rescue within minutes and delivered the baby. It was a first for firefighter Manuel Gali.
"I clamped the umbilical cord. Brought father over. We got it crying," says Gali, "To experience that with the family. Watch their emotions. You can't help but get wrapped up in it."
Immeasurable thrill for Gali, knowing that he helped bring a new life into the world.
The firefighters' action met with gratitude from the family.
"Our son. This house. Our family. We're truly blessed for how everything turned out," says Hogan.
And things might have turned out differently, according to the family, had the response not been as quick.
"There's really no words. They were just absolutely fantastic," say Barbara Whittam, the newborn's grandmother.
Whittam says community concerns about the city of Richmond looking into options for budget cutbacks led the family to speak out against the possible closure of any firehouses.
"It's important to the community for safety reasons, health reasons. They do a lot," says Whittam.
Richmond Mayor Tom Butt tells KTVU, "There are no plans to close firehouses, but the city needs to look at ways to balance the budget."
"Just a little thank you poster board," says Firefighter Gali as he showed off one of the gifts given to the crew by the family Sunday when the firefighters visited baby Donny Hogan III.
His mom says she's looking forward to telling her son the special story of his birth.
"He'll probably look up to firefighters and I wouldn't be surprised if he said: Mommy, I want to be a firefighter," says Patrice with a laugh.
The family says they plan to stay in touch with the firefighters. They have a special bond thanks to baby Donny.