After almost six years of being a paramedic, Scott Martin can now check “delivering a baby enroute to hospital” off his to-do list.
Martin, his partner Kristopher Prince and Algonquin student Jilliane Wade helped midwife Genevieve Gagnon deliver a Christmas present to an Ottawa-area family: a healthy baby boy.
The baby was due Dec. 12, and the crew was called just before 4 a.m. Friday to assist Linda Heikkila, who was in active labour in south Orleans.
Paramedics arrived six minutes later and found the 40-year-old woman having contractions.
“They were waiting for the doula,” said Martin.
The ambulance left at 4:15 a.m., and about five minutes later, it became clear the baby had other plans.
They pulled over at the Blackburn Bypass and Old Innes Rd and at 4:24 a.m., the team delivered him.
“Your training just takes over. You do what you need to do to make sure everyone’s healthy and stable,” Martin said Christmas Eve afternoon, barely getting any sleep after working a 7:30 p.m. to 7:30 a.m. shift.
Martin describes the delivery, which was their last call of the night, as exciting.
“It’s not too frequent,” he said.
“Some people happen to have the good luck of delivering it en route.”
It was the most exciting experience so far for Wade, 21, who’s in the final semester of a two-year paramedic program at the college.
“I was able to cut the umbilical cord,” she said. “It was a great feeling. It’s Christmas eve.”
Heikkila and baby Ben were taken to Montfort hospital and released Friday afternoon.
And Wade is still riding high.
“To have it happen on the side of the road is a pretty amazing thing,” she said.