At 3:09 a.m. on Feb. 26, the Branford 911 center received a call for medical assistance regarding a maternity call. Medic 1 and Engine 1 were dispactched to a Laurel Hill Road home where they ultimately delivered a 4-pound, 9-ounce healthy baby boy.
"There is always an amazing feeling when firefighters save a life, but there is even a greater and even more amazing feeling when firefighters bring a life into the world," said Branford Fire Department Deputy Chief Ron Mullen.
According to Captain Robert Paradis, contractions were about five minutes apart when they were dispatched and had increased to a minute apart by the time they arrived on the scene.
Firefighter/Paramedics Mark Testa and Paul Cipriani delivered the baby, who was about three weeks early, with firefighter/medics Dan Ghiroli and Dan Kunze also on the scene.
"She delivered within 10 minutes of our arrival – it was quick," said Paradis, who has helped deliver three babies throughout his career. "God meant for this [childbirth] to take care of itself so with no complications, it's easy for us."
Though Testa has been a part of 12 childbirths over his 20 years in the field, he said they're "few and far between," noting that many times the baby has been delivered before their arrival.
"To see it from beginning to end is an enlightening thing," said Testa. "It's not every day that you get woken up for a call at 3 a.m. and get to deliver a baby. We all worked together and I heard from a friend that mom and baby are both doing well."
Both Paradis and Testa complimented the efforts of their fellow firefighters and the strength of the mother, who along with the new baby were transported to Yale-New Haven Hospital.
"Several family members were at the house who got to be a part of the experience so it was really cool to see their faces light up," said Paradis. "It was fantastic, the guys did a great job and the family was overjoyed with happiness."