Four ambulance crew from Worthing have won an award for excellence for the way they responded to a birth emergency in Southwick.
The mother was facing a rare breech delivery and when paramedic Kevin Fuller arrived in the early hours, he found the challenging birth in progress.
It proved to be even more difficult than he anticipated, as the baby twisted and its head got stuck in the birth canal.
The mother spoke very little English but Kevin, the operational team leader, did his best to explain what was happening as he single-handedly manipulated the baby to deliver it safely.
Technician Jamie Webb and emergency care support worker Darren Curtis arrived just as the baby had been born.
It was unresponsive and initially not breathing, so the trio quickly set to work, stimulating the baby and providing assisted bag valve mask breathing.
By the time paramedic Gemma Butler and technician Mark Griffiths arrived to give further back up, the baby was pinking up and starting to cry.
Gemma said: “They just responded so well, working together and so professionally to ensure this turned out to be a happy occasion.
“They were all so calm and collected which must have been so reassuring for the family.
“It was just amazing work by Kevin and the rest of the team to safely deliver this new life into the world.”
Gemma nominated Kevin, Jamie, Darren and Mark for an award and they were presented with the Chief Executive’s Commendation for clinical excellence and quality improvement.
The team was pleased to report mum and baby were taken to Worthing Hospital, where the baby was already responding well, having been nursing on the journey last April.
It was pointed out it is very rare for babies to present at delivery as breech, as they are mostly born by caesarean when found in this bottom-first position.
Jamie was presented with his award last Thursday, at the second of three ceremonies held by South East Coast Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust, and his colleagues picked up their awards at the final ceremony yesterday.
Other awards presented last Thursday included medals and certificates for long service over 20, 30 and 40 years.
Daren Mochrie, SECAmb chief executive, said: “With a total of some 850 years’ service recognised alongside some amazing individual and team achievements, I was very proud to celebrate with staff, volunteers and members of the public.
“The work we celebrated was, of course, just a small number of examples of the fantastic care which is delivered day-in, day-out, across our region.”
Jamie Webb also received a Queen’s Ambulance Service medal for long service and good conduct over 20 years, along with Brian McArthur and James Hacker from Worthing.
Anthony Bridges from Worthing received a 40 years NHS Long Service Award and Matthew England from Worthing received a 20 years NHS Long Service Award.
Catherine Sigournay from Steyning received a Volunteer’s 10 years Long Service Award.