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Firefighters Team Up to Deliver Baby in Ambulance

North Wildwood Fire Department EMTs Matthew Capone and Reza Zergani responded to a call for mutual aid from Wildwood and ended up with a baby boy being born in their ambulance
Courtesy North Wildwood Fire Department’s Facebook page

North Wildwood Fire Department EMTs Matthew Capone and Reza Zergani responded to a call for mutual aid from Wildwood and ended up with a baby boy being born in their ambulance, June 28. 

By Christopher South

WILDWOOD – First responders from neighboring communities teamed up to deliver a baby after a woman’s water broke at the hotel in which she was staying. 

According to Capt. Ryan Troiano, of the City of Wildwood Fire Department (WFD), just before 11 p.m. June 28, the WFD received a maternity call about five minutes after their ambulance went out on another call. The WFD put in a request for mutual aid from North Wildwood Fire Department (NWFD), which operates EMS Squad 2.  

At 11:01 p.m., NWFD firefighter/EMTs Matthew Capone and Reza Zergani were dispatched to an Ocean Avenue hotel in Wildwood, where they were met by WFD firefighter/EMT Christina Sacco and the expectant mother waiting curbside for the ambulance.  

Troiano said his department’s EMTs met the mother on the fifth floor as she was making her way to the elevator. She and family members had arrived in Wildwood on a bus from Philadelphia and she was 40 weeks pregnant. Her water had broken, but she had not yet gone into labor. They also learned that this was her second pregnancy, and she was expecting twins.  

“At that point, I looked at EMT Sacco, we looked at each other, and I asked her to ride with them to assist,” Troiano said.   

At the street, the EMTs got the mother on a stretcher and into the ambulance and began basic life support, according to protocol.  

Capone was driving the ambulance and Zergani, a part-time EMT with the NWFD, and Sacco got in the back.  

Capone said they got underway and had to determine whether they were going to attempt to drive to Shore Medical Center, in Somers Point, which has a maternity ward, or go to the nearby Cape Regional Medical Center, which has suspended maternity operations.  

“She made it clear she was having twins, and we did what we had to do and made a decision to go local because of the urgency. That Cape Regional doesn’t have a maternity ward doesn’t prevent us from going there in an emergency,” Capone said. “Because of the time delay to get to Shore, the best and safest option was to stop at the Cape Regional ER.” 

The first baby, however, didn’t plan to wait even that long. The hospital is at Exit 10, but the ambulance was at milepost 5.9 on the Garden State Parkway when Capone pulled over after realizing the baby was coming.  

“We couldn’t even find a spot to pull over and just started to issue basic life support care,” Capone said.  

Neither part-time EMT Zergani, nor 10-year veteran Sacco had delivered a baby before. The NWFD had coincidentally just reviewed delivering a baby in an ambulance the week before, but it was Sacco who got in place to receive the baby.  

Sacco said she had been on maternity calls before and has accompanied the mother all the way to the maternity ward, and has heard “Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star” being played over the public address system, which means the baby arrived before she exited the hospital.  

This time, however, she received the newborn boy in her hands, clamped the umbilical cord, and handed him to his mother. Sacco said the WFD trains annually on assisting in delivering a baby, but being there was something hard to describe.  

“I don’t know, receiving the baby, in an odd way, I just experienced an overwhelmingly calm sensation. Handing the baby over was indescribable,” she said. 

Troiano said it was fortunate to have a female EMT available to go along on this call.  

After the baby was born, the ambulance found a spot to pull over and stabilize the mother and child. They got them delivered to Cape Regional Medical Center and were done by about 11:45 p.m. and dropped off Sacco at the WFD station.  

Troiano said she jumped out of the ambulance and said, “That was cool.” 

He said she would undoubtedly brief the rest of the staff at their next meeting, as is common any time there is an unusual or serious incident or a call that has an informational element to share.  

Squad 2 went back to the NWFD station where they remained until 8 a.m. the next morning. Before the shift was over, however, they were involved in the rescue of six ducklings from a storm drain on Spruce Avenue.  

“It’s all in a day’s work,” said NWFD Fire Chief Dominick McClain. 

After the fact, Wildwood firefighter/EMT Sacco and North Wildwood firefighter/EMT Capone were able to visit the mother and her baby boys, Jasaad and Musaad.

Musaad was born only 30 minutes after his brother, at the hospital, but officially late enough to have been born the next day (June 29). The mother and baby boys were reported to be doing well.  

Contact the author, Christopher South, at csouth@cmcherald.com or 609-886-8600, ext. 128. 

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