A team of firefighters from Stonehaven were ‘stork’ for words this morning when their first job of the day involved helping deliver a baby.
Control received a call from the Scottish Ambulance Service at 9.10am this morning reporting a woman in labour at a house in Stonehaven.
The ambulance crew asked their emergency partners at Scottish Fire and Rescue Service to assist within gaining entry to the house.
The Stonehaven appliance arrived at 9.21am and when crews got inside they found the occupant in the late stages of labour with the head of the baby already showing.
Without having time to think Crew Manager Gavin Strachan (31) and firefighter Tim Hull (19) helped successfully deliver a baby girl. Also at the scene were firefighters Matthew Crabb, Neil Innes and driver Alex Gordon.
The local doctor and nurse arrived shortly afterwards. It has since been reported that mother and daughter are doing well and were both taken to hospital by ambulance.
The incident this morning was very much a family affair as the Watch Manager in charge was John Strachan, Gavin’s father.
One half of SFRS’s ‘delivery team’, Gavin Strachan, said: “We were initially called by Scottish Ambulance Service who asked us to help gain entry to the house after they received reports of a woman in labour who could not make it to the door for obvious reasons.
“We identified the key holder and got inside. Matthew went in and came back and told us the occupant was in the bathroom and that the baby’s head was already showing.
“Myself and firefighter Tim Hull put on our rubber gloves and made sure there were plenty of clean towels. We received advice from the ambulance service over the phone and we helped support the baby’s head until the wee one had successfully entered the world.
“We had to check to make sure the baby was breathing properly and that her airways were clear. We were told that if a baby was crying then that was a good sign. I have two children of my own so I had experienced a birth before.”
He added: “This is the first call of this type during my 13 years in the job and I think it was a real eye opener for Tim, who has been in the job for just a couple of years.
“We are just delighted that everything went well and that mum and baby are doing fine. We wish them all the very best in the future. We also contacted the Dad to tell him the good news.”
The doctor and nurse arrived shortly after the fire appliance, but not quite in time to witness the birth. They made sure mum and baby were comfortable and carried out all the post birth care, such as the cutting of the umbilical cord.
The parents wish to remain anonymous at this time.
Local Senior Officer for Aberdeenshire and Moray, David Rout, praised his crews, saying: “Our staff never cease to amaze us with their professionalism and approach to emergency calls they attend.
“This is an example of whereby members of our Stonehaven community respond as a part-time firefighter to help local people in need of assistance and of course not within the parameters of firefighting but wider emergency response role in assisting our partners in Scottish Ambulance Service, local doctor and NHS staff.
“I warmly welcome this good news story and am glad everyone is well.”