Woman gives birth inside ambulance as Ambo batters Northern Samar
CATARMAN, Northern Samar – As Typhoon Ambo lashed at Northern Samar, a 34-year-old pregnant woman here suddenly went into labor and gave birth inside an ambulance while being assisted by firemen.
The Incident Command Post (ICP) hotline in this capital town received a call about 10 p.m. on May 14 from a man seeking assistance as his wife was about to give birth.
The ICP then relayed the request to the Bureau of Fire Protection-Catarman (BFP) to respond to the situation.
Fire Inspector Darwin Orsolino, BFP Catarman chief, sent four fire officers – Fire Officer I Marjun Zulueta and FO2 Sandy Galupo, who were both licensed nurses, as well as FOI Carlo Gallamora and FOI John Carlo Arninio.
Zuluete said they had difficulty reaching the house of Irma Jarito in Purok 1, Barangay Baybay, because the streets were narrow and it was dark because of a brownout triggered by Ambo’s strong winds.
“The wind was so strong and it was raining hard. Our ambulance could not proceed anymore as the street was narrow; so we brought the stretcher and walked to find their house,” Zulueta said.
When the firemen finally reached the house, they had to carry Jarito on a stretcher to the ambulance which was parked some 500 meters away.
But when they reached the ambulance, the mother told them she could no longer hold it. The fire officers then assisted the mother to deliver her fourth child.
“We told her to just breathe and not push until we reach the hospital, but I guess the baby could not wait any longer to come out of this world,” Zulueta quipped.
A healthy baby girl was delivered at 10:22 p.m. on May 13.
The fire officers cleaned up the mother and baby before proceeding to the Northern Samar Provincial Hospital (NSPH) at the town proper, about 3 km from Barangay Baybay.
Since the nurses had to attend to other patients in the emergency room, the fire officers were the ones who snipped the baby’s umbilical cord before turning the baby and her mother to the midwives and nurses in the delivery room.
They also provided the medical staff with vital data of the mother and her baby before leaving the hospital.
“We were thankful that the baby came out healthy, she had a good cry when she came out, and the mother was safe,” said Zulueta.
It was not the first time that Catarman fire officers have helped a mother deliver a child.
In April, the BFP team also assisted a woman who gave birth inside a tricycle at the quarantine checkpoint along the border in Barangay Old Rizal, also of this town.
BFP Catarman has 37 regular personnel – six of whom are licensed nurses. The others are engineers, medical technologists, a veterinarian, forestry graduates, teachers, information technologists, and criminologists.
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