London firefighter Ross McLaren, 33, turned midwife when he was called to deal with a fire in Ponders End in Enfield this morning and ended up delivering a baby boy at the scene.
Ross, who is based on blue watch at Euston Fire Station, was one of the firefighters from the London Fire Brigade dealing with a large blaze at a restaurant on the High Street this morning when a couple in a car pulled through the fire cordon at around 11am.
They had been stuck in traffic and the mum-to-be was already in the late stages of labour in the back seat.
Quick thinking Ross jumped into action and, with the help of his colleague firefighter Richie Hall, grabbed the first aid kit off the fire engine and began to help.
Speaking from the scene this morning where he was still helping to damp down the fire, Ross said:
“The husband was driving and was in a bit of a panic. I could see that the lady in the back seat was in the middle of giving birth and when I looked I could see the baby’s head.
“We began to give the mum oxygen and to try and reassure her. While Richie carried on doing that I ran round to where the baby was and kept telling the lady to push.
“Once he was born we rubbed him down to get his circulation going and when he started crying I knew it was going to be alright. We then kept mum and baby warm until London Ambulance Service arrived to take them to hospital.”
Ross, who has been a firefighter for 15 years, said it was one of the more unusual days at work that he had had, adding that he had an idea of what to do because his wife was an “avid viewer of One Born Every Minute.”
He added: “It has definitely been one of the highlights of my career and it’s not something I ever expected that I would do in my life. Someone said to me the other day that as firefighters we usually enter people’s lives at their worst moments so being there at such a joyful occasion makes a nice change.”