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West Hartford Firefighters Deliver Baby Girl

West Hartford Fire Department Engine No. 1. Photo credit: Ronni Newton (we-ha.com file photo)

West Hartford emergency responders delivered a baby girl early Sunday inside a private residence.

By Ronni Newton

Crews from West Hartford Fire, West Hartford Police, and American Medical Response responded to an emergency call at 2:14 a.m. Sunday, July, 7, with the caller indicating that a woman was in labor at a private residence in the northeast section of town, West Hartford Fire Department Chief Greg Priest said.

Engine 1 arrived in four minutes, Priest said, and West Hartford Police were already on the scene. Lt. John Bigham, Apparatus Operator Bob Howe, Firefighter Ryan Shea, and Firefighter/Paramedic Victoire Will were the crew on duty.

Responders determined that not only was the woman in “active labor,” but after assessing her condition determined that the birth was imminent and there was no time to transport the patient safely to the hospital.

Firefighter/Paramedic Will jumped into action, shifted gears, and delivered a healthy baby girl right at the home.

Other family members were present at the home, and were very helpful throughout the process, said Priest.

“Childbirth is a very stressful event. You have one patient that turns into two,” Priest said as he described what is termed “pre-hospital childbirth.”

Although some people choose to give birth at home there are generally plans in place, and a birth “outside of a controlled environment is not optimal,” he added.

The mother and child, accompanied by Will and an AMR crew, were safely transported to Hartford Hospital, Priest said.

According to Priest, West Hartford Fire Department protocols dictate that while the lieutenant is in charge of the overall scene, the paramedic is responsible for the medical care given to the patient. Will is a “very skilled provider,” Priest said.

“Mom and baby are doing well, preparing to be released from the hospital later today,” Priest said Monday afternoon, adding that the hospital was pleased with the way the birth had been handled.

“It’s a heartwarming event, and we like to hear that things went smoothly,” Priest said.

“Great job by all involved, best wishes to the family, and we look forward to meeting our newest resident in the near future,” Priest said.

While he could not provide any further details, Priest said that the baby delivered was “within the normal span of development.”

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