(CBSNEWS) – Firefighter Marc Hadden was working with the medical unit when he helped deliver the baby girl who would grow into the blonde-haired, blue-eyed daughter he now knows as “Gracie.”

It was a surprisingly slow day for one of the busiest fire stations in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina on November 11, 2011. Hadden had spent the day training and killing time cleaning engines.

When he finally sat down with his crew to eat dinner in the middle of his 24-hour shift, the phone rang — and he had to hop into an ambulance to make an emergency call. When he arrived on scene, he and his partner found a pregnant woman in labor. As soon as they helped her into the ambulance, she was ready to give birth.

It was the first time Hadden took charge during a delivery in his two decades of working.

“I was tasked with everything to do with Gracie,” Hadden told CBS News. “I helped her take her first breath.”

The team then called for backup and rushed to the hospital to drop off the mother and child. While filling out routine paperwork at the hospital, Hadden overheard nurses say the new mom requested the baby girl be put up for adoption “immediately.”