On one December night, the sound of Carson Laney’s pager set his heart racing like it does every time. It’s a drop-everything sound that means someone needs help. And as a volunteer firefighter/emergency medical responder (EMR) for the small town of Christine, ND, it’s Carson’s signal to spring into action.
Carson, Product Specialist with RDO Equipment Co. in Moorhead, MN, has been with the Christine Community Fire District since 2015. He’s one of 10 active members in the 100% volunteer organization and is among the five trained as emergency medical responders. Though he’s responded to and seen many situations since beginning his volunteer stint, that call in December would add another new experience to his list: help with a roadside labor and delivery.
Carson and his fellow responders arrived at the scene just as the baby was born and immediately began providing care for both baby and mother, ensuring baby was breathing and mother was not going into shock.
“The baby cried and that was the greatest sound we could have heard,” Carson recalled.
When the ambulance arrived, Carson and the volunteers assisted with transferring mom and baby and continued to provide care until arriving at the hospital. Following a sleepless night, Carson received confirmation in the morning that both mom and baby were doing just fine.
For their efforts that night, Carson, fellow Christine EMR Andrew Braaten, and 911 operator Sara Knutson each received the North Dakota Stork Award, granted to responders who aid in emergency baby deliveries. At the award ceremony, held a few months later, Carson and the responders got to re-meet the parents and their baby girl in a much more relaxed environment, a reunion that was like the cherry on top of an already unforgettable event.
The reward of giving back to his community was what made the decision to volunteer an easy one for Carson back in 2015. His ties to the Christine community are in his roots—his mother and grandparents are Christine natives. But even more than that, his decision was about contributing to a greater good.
“I had a sense that I could do more,” he said.
Carson has found no shortage of support from RDO of his drive to do more. Christine Community Fire District was among the 41 volunteer fire departments that received grants through the Offutt Family Foundation’s Community Builder program in 2017, during a campaign recognizing the many team members like Carson who serve as volunteer responders.
Additionally, Carson said RDO’s company culture supports the commitment he’s made to his community. His obligation is high, and when those drop-everything calls come through, he knows his team has his back.
“At RDO, there’s no doubt: I am encouraged to support my community,” he said about his duties as an EMR. “It’s phenomenal to allow that to happen.”