Triple Zero operator helps Ingleburn mum deliver safely

Reunion: Cecelia Vetemotu gave birth to her daughter Shalom before paramedics arrived. 000 operator Emma Bourke helped her through the birth. Picture: Simon Bennett

Reunion: Cecelia Vetemotu gave birth to her daughter Shalom before paramedics arrived. 000 operator Emma Bourke helped her through the birth. Picture: Simon Bennett

When Triple Zero (000) operator Emma Bourke picked up an incoming emergency call, the last thing she expected was to help deliver a baby over the phone.

On the other end of the line was Ingleburn resident Cecelia Toni Vetemotu who was unexpectedly about to give birth to her baby girl – Shalom – two weeks early.

“We were very surprised, I only had my mother-in-law and sister-in-law with me,” she said.

“It all happened so fast, she was already born and I was holding her when the paramedics arrived.”

The two women met for the first time last week. 

Mrs Vetemotu said she was excited to meet the woman who had helped her in her time of need.

“I was very happy to see her,” she said.

Ms Bourke said meeting Mrs Vetemotu and her baby was a career highlight.

“I usually take calls that are very traumatic,” she said.

“This one had a happy outcome.”

In the past 10 years the highest number of births of any month have all occurred in September.

Last month alone 27 babies sprung into the world before their mums were able to reach hospital.

Two other local women in Currans Hill and Minto also gave birth at home with the help of call operators and paramedics.

NSW Ambulance Director Control Tim Collins said each year NSW Ambulance 000 call takers play a direct role in the safe arrival of hundreds of babies.

So far this year, 289 babies have been born at home, 189 of those were assisted by NSW Ambulance call takers.

Chief Inspector Collins said dialling 000 ensured an ambulance was dispatched and essential instructions could be provided until paramedics arrived.

“Advice includes placing the mother in the most comfortable position, guiding when to push and supporting the baby as it makes its way into the world,” he said.

“Often our highly trained call takers have been on the line right through to delivery to celebrate the birth of the child.”

Mrs Vetemotu was transported to Campbelltown Hospital where she only stayed one night.

“She was very healthy – it’s a miracle,” she said.

Chief Inspector Collins provided the following advice for those called upon to deliver a baby:

  • dial Triple Zero (000) and ask for Ambulance
  • stay on the line with the call taker who will talk you through the necessary steps
  • provide mum with assurance that an ambulance is on its way
  • mum is not to sit on the toilet
  •  make sure mum is in a comfortable position
  • provisions should include dry towels and a blanket in which to wrap the baby
  • tell mum to take slow, deep breaths between contractions; continue to reassure her help is on its way
  • when the baby is delivered, gently wipe its mouth and nose. Dry the baby off with the towel and wrap it in a blanket
  • don’t cut the umbilical cord
  • make sure mum and baby are both warm
  • await arrival of the placenta. When it delivers, wrap it in a towel. The doctor will need to examine it to make sure it’s all out.
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