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Arizona Department of Public Safety (DPS) Air Rescue medics deliver baby on board DPS helicopter

In-flight birth - Updated release has baby info, and baby photos

Tuesday, December 15, 2009 -

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On December 15th, 2009, at about 6:18 a.m., the DPS Air Rescue Helicopter stationed out of Kingman, Ariz., responded to a medical emergency involving a woman in active labor. The patient, a 33 year-old resident of Supai, was being treated at a local clinic in the Supai Village that is located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon. The crew, consisting of a DPS Officer-Pilot and two Officer-Paramedics, prepared the patient for flight and began a transport to the Kingman Regional Medical Center (KRMC) about 130 miles away. As the crew was preparing to land, at about 8:25 a.m., the Kingman based crew reacted as the woman’s labor progressed to the point where it became clear that her soon-to-be newborn wanted to make his grand appearance prior to getting to the hospital. Working quickly, the DPS crew delivered the healthy 7-pound, 7-ounce baby boy in the back of the helicopter just as the helicopter was preparing it's landing. There were no complications.

The Air Rescue Helicopter landed safely moments later minutes later at KRMC. The mother, Natasha Watahomigie, and baby boy, Tyson, are resting comfortably at KRMC. The photos of the mother and baby available through this release also show two of the DPS flight crew members who delivered the baby - Officer/Paramedic Darren Winters (at left in photo) and DPS Officer/Paramedic Charles "Chip" Main (at right in photo). Not in the group photo is the pilot who was flying the helicopter when the birth took place - DPS Officer/Pilot Scott Williams. His personal photo is attached separately under his last name.

The Medical Doctor stationed at the Supai Village clinic reportedly was unable to find any medical-evacuation helicopter to respond this morning. However, the DPS Kingman-Ranger Air Rescue crew was readily available and up to the task when called upon.

“This instance of extraordinary service performed by DPS Air Rescue personnel is just an example of what our aviation unit does on a regular basis statewide in the service of Arizona residents and visitors alike. Whether a medical, search and rescue, or law enforcement mission, the crews at DPS’ four Air Rescue bases stand ready to provide an invaluable resource in treacherous conditions and terrain where many other medical-evacuation helicopters can’t,” said Rich Thacher, DPS Aviation Administrator.

Additional information regarding our Air Rescue program can be obtained at the following link:


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Click here for photos relating to this news release.

The Arizona Department of Public Safety is a state-level law enforcement agency whose mission is to protect human life and property by enforcing state laws, deterring criminal activity and providing vital support to the State of Arizona and its citizens.