Paramedics, emergency medical technicians, and firefighters are among the true unsung heroes in society. Their valiant efforts and instantaneous decision-making can be the difference in many life-threatening situations.
Paramedic Brian Harkins and emergency medical technician April Lavino of Action Ambulance, Winthrop Fire Captain Ed McDonald and firefighter Paul Montgomery encountered a challenging set of circumstances when they were called to a home on Loring Road in 19-degree weather at 5 a.m. on Sunday, January 28.
Rachel Kaiser-Reznick, 42, was in labor and “felt the baby was coming.”
“We got to the scene and she said that she thought she was going to deliver the baby soon,” said MacDonald. “Paul and I walked her downstairs to the first floor landing and she said, “This is it.”
Working as a team, Harkins, Lavino, MacDonald and Montgomery delivered baby girl Abigail Kaiser-Reznick inside the home.
“Everybody did their job,” said MacDonald. “It was a professional job all the way and the mother was terrific, too. She handled herself very well and the dad was right there, too.”
“It was a scene I’ll never forget,” said Montgomery. “It was a cold winter night. Before we could really even believe what was happening, the baby was born. The paramedic and EMT from Action Ambulance are absolute professionals. Brian knew what to do. He had been through this before so all your training kicks in. You just hope for the best.”
The mother and baby were then transported by ambulance to Massachusetts General Hospital.
“Everything was good on the ride to the hospital,” recalled Harkins. “The baby was crying and the mother was fine so it was a good trip.”
Harkins, who had participated in other deliveries in the past, said all Action Ambulance personnel are trained in the delivery of babies.
“We are all trained in it,” said Harkins. “But the mother does all the work. We’re just there to kind of assist.”
Harkins said the cooperation and professionalism of the Winthrop Fire Department was “outstanding.”
“Everything was done exactly the way it should have been done,” said Harkins. “When we arrived, Captain MacDonald gave us the report and we knew what we had and it was just getting things in motion from there.”
“It was a great scene and a happy scene – seeing a new life bringing brought in to the world,” said Lavino.
Kaiser-Resnick said the whole delivery was accomplished in a short period of time.
“Within 10-15 minutes of everybody being there, the baby was born,” said Kaiser-Reznick. “I could not even make it to the back of the ambulance – it was that quick. It was amazing.”
Abigail Kaiser-Renick weighed 7 pounds, 2 ounces and measured 20 inches at birth. She has an older sister, Isabel, who was at home during the birth of Abigail but slept through the delivery.
Kaiser-Reznick was very grateful to the Action Ambulance and WFD personnel.
“I don’t know what we would have done without them,” she said. “They were absolutely like life-saving, incredible, compassionate, professional. They were all prepared. I will be eternally grateful for all of their assistance, from the people whose hands I was holding to the people who actually helped deliver the baby.
“It was the most incredible experience. I wish I could have named by baby after all of them.”
Baby Abigail is now 10 weeks old and was reunited Tuesday with the crew that delivered her.
Lance Reznick, father of the new baby, was also on hand for the photo session with the delivery group outside the Winthrop Fire station on Pauline Street.
“I would like to thank everyone – the firefighters, the paramedics, the EMTs for being there and they are our heroes,” said Reznick, who is originally from South Africa. “Without them, we would have been lost. It was an amazing experience. We’re just grateful that they were there for us.”