Two phone deliveries in two days for an Ottawa paramedic trainee
Mentor Dominique Von Getz and intern Emma Freeman-Harkin
Share November 15, 2020 Updated November 16, 2020 at 6:21 am Share Two telephone deliveries in two days for an Ottawa paramedic trainee
Julien Coderre Le Droit Only two weeks after taking up her post as an intern with the Ottawa Paramedic Service, Emma Freeman-Harkin has had one of the most formative work weekends of her career.
Within 48 hours, the attendant had to assist not one, but two women over the phone while they were in labor.
“It is extremely rare for that to happen and there, to have two in as many days, it was unreal”, confides his mentor Dominique Von Getz.
In fact, according to her, about three or four telephone deliveries occur annually among paramedics in Ottawa.
“It's really not a lot. We get several calls about women in labor, but most of the time the paramedics have time to get there before the baby sees the light of day. “
“At the end of the week, they couldn't wait to be born,” adds Dominique, laughing.
The first call was made to 9-1-1 at 5:04 p.m. Friday evening. One woman was having repeated contractions and was showing signs of imminent delivery.
“We helped the father by giving him instructions over the phone, accompanying the mother through the contractions and a few minutes later, we heard the baby cry,” says Emma.
“Most of the calls we receive are generally stressful, but it's still a good source of stress,” she continues. Obviously I was a little nervous, but my mentor was very helpful with me and we are well trained. We followed our protocol and everything went well. – Emma Freeman-Harkin
“The biggest challenge,” explains Dominique, “is that everything is done audibly. We have no idea what the situation and the environment the parents find themselves in is like. We don't know where the mother is lying, we don't know if the parents are following our instructions correctly, because we are not there to see what is going on. Our job is really to make sure both parents are focused and understand our instructions. “
A little girl was thus born “in full health” at 5:11 pm, even before the arrival of medical workers.
“Me and Dominique looked at each other and we exchanged a huge smile. It was quite a feeling, ”admits the trainee who was having her first childbirth by telephone.
” It was a first for me. Most of the calls we receive are usually stressful, but it's still a source of stress, she continues. Obviously I was a little nervous, but my mentor was very helpful with me and we are well trained. We followed our protocol and everything went well. “
“We have never been so happy to hear a child cry, adds Dominique. It was instant relief. “
After the baby was delivered, Emma took care to instruct the parents to keep the baby girl warm, place her on the mother's chest, and pinch the umbilical cord until the first paramedics arrived and cut the cord themselves.
Then, the next day, another such call was received at 9-1-1 at 11:48 a.m.
“Dominique looked at me and said: 'What are the odds?” Emma says. Each call is different, but we follow a bit of the same routine each time so I felt a little more confident. “
Just like the day before, the birth went well and another little girl was born on Saturday noon.
As a token of gratitude, the two Ottawa paramedic call attendants were presented with stork pins to commemorate the births.