Polk County Fire Rescue crews had a special reunion Tuesday with Winter Haven's first baby born in the new year. 

  • Polk Fire Rescue crews reunite with baby they helped deliver
  • Baby Zander was Winter Haven's first baby of 2017
  • Zander was born on Jan. 5, at 3:19 a.m. 

Today crews got to meet and hold a baby that they helped deliver at a patient's home on Jan. 5. 

Around 3 a.m. on that Thursday, crews were dispatched to a home on Maggie Circle in Winter Haven where Ashli Sawyer, 19, was in labor. 

Once crews arrived, they knew there was no time to transport Sawyer to the hospital. 

“The baby was coming and so we delivered the baby right at her home,” said Polk Fire’s Lt. Lance Meachum. “We delivered a healthy-looking baby boy and mom was also doing well.”

Ashli said she was at the hospital the day before, but wasn't dilated, so the hospital sent her home around 11 p.m. She said she woke up around 2 a.m. to use the restroom and realized her baby was coming. 

Crews were able to successfully deliver Winter Haven's first baby of 2017. Zander Fate Sawyer was born at 3:19 a.m. and weighed 8 lbs, 3 oz, and was 19 inches long. 

Zander is Sawyer's first child.

“I named him Zander because the name means ‘defender of people’ and I wanted something that had a powerful meaning to it.” 

“We are so happy for Ashli. Things like this do not happen very often, but when it does our crews are prepared. We wish Ashli and Zander the very best,” said Polk Fire’s Assistant Chief Rick Parnell. “Our crews often see and have to deal with horrible calls, but moments like this bring great joy to our crews.”