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Thursday 20 September 2018

Paramedics say 'it's all in a day's work' as they deliver baby girl after ambulance gets snowed in

Paramedic Derry O’Toole
Paramedic Derry O’Toole

Two paramedics delivered a baby girl on the side of a Kilkenny road after the ambulance her mum was travelling in got stuck in snow.

The ambulance crew, based in Carlow town, received an emergency call at 6am on Wednesday to bring the woman, who had gone into labour, to St Luke's General Hospital in Kilkenny, 38km away.

Comfort

Advanced paramedic Martin Gorry and paramedic Derry O'Toole tried to reach the woman's apartment, on a hill in the Weir's apartment complex in Graiguecullen, on the Carlow/Laois border.

However, the ambulance got bogged down in snow and ice.

Martin and Derry were eventually forced to call fire services in Carlow to help get the ambulance out of the snow.

It took up to 12 fire officers around an hour to free the ambulance, while the paramedics continued to comfort and help the Nigerian woman, who has been living in Ireland for 10 years.

Once the ambulance was freed, they did their best to get her to St Luke's General Hospital.

However, they were forced to pull over about five kilometres from Kilkenny as they knew they would not make it.

"We did our best, but driving conditions were so bad," said Martin. "No matter how hard we tried to get the ambulance up the hill in Graiguecullen, it became more and more bogged in the snow and ice.

"We were left with no alternative but to call National Ambulance Services HQ so they could send another ambulance immediately.

"We called the fire services in Carlow to help us as we knew time was ticking.

"The fire officers did their utmost to ensure we made it to Kilkenny in time and were just fantastic.

"The weather conditions were so bad. We were working with the lady to keep her calm and controlled.

"The fire officers eventually got the ambulance freed.

"But the closer we edged our way to Kilkenny, it was obvious the lady's baby was arriving faster than we could make it.

Freed

"Derry and I made the decision to pull over the ambulance as our priority was for the lady and the safe delivery of the baby.

"We didn't panic as we are well trained, but we had two lives to look after.

"Thankfully, mum did all the hard work and an absolutely beautiful baby girl was born safely at around 8am.

"Mum and baby are doing well in hospital and we've been told the little girl has been called Caoimhe.

"We are absolutely delighted and thrilled that it all worked out in the end and that both are healthy and happy. It's all in a day's work."

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