ER24 paramedics are known for their compassion, medical expertise and efficient response times. They are also trained to deliver babies.

Gareth Staley, Regional Operations Manager at ER24.

Gareth Staley, Regional Operations Manager at ER24, and an ER24 paramedic for 20 years, shares a day he’ll never forget.

“I was driving our emergency response vehicle in the West Rand, Gauteng, when I noticed a car speeding in the far-left lane. I assumed the driver was trying to dodge the traffic and saw a traffic police car pull him over because he was speeding. A few minutes later, the same metro police car was alongside me, requesting assistance.  

“I immediately pulled into the left lane and realised the lady in the backseat of the car was about to give birth. The driver was rushing her to the nearby hospital where she was booked to deliver, but they still had 15km to go. Her waters had already broken and they knew the baby was about to crown – which is why they were in such a rush.

“I quickly retrieved some basic medical equipment (gloves and a maternity pack) and encouraged the mother to push. Thankfully it was a very uncomplicated delivery. At this point, it started raining hard and I was outside the vehicle while the mother and baby were protected inside. I cut the umbilical cord, reassured the mother, ensured there was no bleeding and wrapped up the baby. The female Metro officer then got into the car with the mother to hold the baby. When the ambulance arrived, the mom was safely transported to hospital on a stretcher with her newborn.

“When delivering a baby, you need to ensure the area is as clean as possible and the baby is kept warm. The weather that day wasn’t ideal, but we obviously had no choice in the matter. I felt proud after delivering the baby. It was a good feeling knowing the baby was safe and alive. It really was a team effort between the officers and me. Both parents were extremely grateful for our intervention and support. “To be a good paramedic, you need to be confident handling scenarios where people’s lives are in danger. You help strangers in the strangest conditions and occasionally put your own life in danger if you’re assisting on the side of the road in bad weather conditions. But this is what makes it worthwhile. At the end of the day, knowing that you have saved someone’s life feels so good.”

ER24 paramedics are trained to handle complicated deliveries during their studies.

“When you’re training, you perform up to 20 deliveries at the hospitals. For a normal delivery you need to ensure the baby starts breathing once delivered. You then need to ensure the mother suffers no bleeding after delivery. There are several complications that can occur but ER24 paramedics are trained to deliver babies that have presented differently. We’re equipped with medications that can stop contractions when necessary, as well as stop excessive bleeding. Quick assessment of the baby as it is delivered is critical to ensure the umbilical cord is not wrapped around the neck. Once delivered, paramedics might have to perform CPR on the newborn.” – Gareth Staley, ER24 Regional Operations Manager.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Start typing and press Enter to search