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S. Farmingdale Firefighters Deliver Baby in Ambulance

Mom suddenly in labor; EMS team responds and delivers roadside.

Mom was attending another kid's birthday party early Sunday when her unborn child decided to have one of his own.

Fortunately, the South Farmingdale Fire Department got a last-minute invitation via a 911 call.

In the course of an hour, that team of EMS-trained firefighters managed to deliver a healthy baby boy somewhere along the Robert Moses Causeway Sunday.

"It's so amazing, watching one born," said Capt. Michael Mackie, an 8-year veteran of the South Farmingdale Fire Department. 'It's a great thing and such a great feeling. We kept our composure and the kid is OK."

"I am extremely proud of Capt. Mackie and the crew of (SFFD ambulance) 977," said SFFD Chief of Department Edward Purpora. "It's hard enough to deliver a baby in the hospital and doing it in an ambulance is a great feat.

Mackie and his SFFD crew, FF Phil Frontino, FF. Bryan Purpora and FF John Boklak responded to the call just after midnight at an apartment building in South Amityville. A couple from Queens were attending a birthday party when the woman's water broke.

When Mackie's team arrived, mom's contractions were about three minutes apart. They packed the woman, who was about to deliver her fifth baby, in the ambulance and headed for Good Samaritan Hospital Medical Center in West Islip.

But just as they turned off Sunrise Highway on to the Robert Moses Causeway mom reported that her birthday boy was about to hold his party ahead of schedule.

The ambulance pulled over and the firefighters went into action. The baby was crowning, and with one good push Mackie pulled out the newborn. It was 12:33 a.m. The team secured the infant and mom and sped toward Good Sam.

The couple's names were not available; Mackie believes the child was named "Carmelo."

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"By the time we left (mom) was on the maternity ward talking to the doctors," said Mackie, who is engaged to be married and has no children yet of his own. It was the first time he had ever seen the birth of a child up close.

"The training kicks in and you go from there," Mackie said.

"Their dedication in serving and the endless hours of training they do certainly paid off," Chief Purpora said. "It is a great feeling to bring a new life into this world and I am happy the baby is healthy and they were able to be a part of it."

It's the second time this month emergency workers delivered a baby in an ambulance nearby. A Nassau County EMS crew delivered a healthy boy on the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway on March 15.

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Robert J. Pape, Jr. March 26, 2013 at 12:21 AM
Job well done brothers!
Joe Dowd (Editor) March 26, 2013 at 05:46 AM
Having watched two live births up close (in hospital settings, surrounded by doctors and nurses) I can't imagine the kind of composure it takes to deliver a kid in the back of an ambulance. Great work SFFD. Thanks for letting me share the story.

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