Paramedic Josh Munt holds Harley while next to mum Ronél; and mum Ronél with her newborn

At barely a month old, little Harley won’t realise it until she is much older, but her birth was anything but a conventional one for the paramedics who were on hand to help out.

Our frontline staff have endured – and overcome – a number of challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, and this one was no different.

In September, when the Triple Zero (000) call came through for an unexpected birth, crews from Haberfield and Paddington rushed to a home located in a Local Government Area of Concern, which included positive cases within the neighbourhood where the call came from.

The first crew, which included Haberfield Paramedic Josh Munt, arrived just in time as mum-to-be Ronél Smit (who thankfully hadn’t contracted COVID-19) gave birth just as they were entering the home.

It was a unique experience for Josh.

Along with being the first time he had attended any emergency birth, he and his colleagues were faced with assisting Ronél while wearing full PPE.

“This was the first birth I had been involved in, much less than in full PPE,” he said.

“It was one of the more rewarding and wholesome experiences I’ve had in my time with NSW Ambulance.

“It was a bit nerve-racking, but thankfully there were plenty of other experienced clinicians there who were guiding the overall job, which was reassuring.”

Despite this being Josh’s first call-put to an emergency birth, he and his fellow paramedics clearly did an excellent job, given the praise new mum Ronél wanted to heap on them.

“I think because the birth at that time was so unexpected, it could have been a horrible experience, but it was amazing… they arrived just in time,” she said.

“It was so good, they made us feel really safe and kept on checking up on me.”

The paramedics and ride-along paramedicine student (pictured holding Harley) with Ronél after the birth.

Ronél also wanted to thank the Triple Zero (000) call taker who she said “deserved a gold medal” for her patience, given Ronel’s partner was understandably quite stressed when he rang.

Along with all of the paramedics who attended the job, Haberfield’s Dominic Wong, the Inspector on scene, gave recognition to a ride-along paramedicine student who attended with one of the Paddington crews.

She happened to be a trained doula, who was available to provide additional comfort to the mum and baby during birth.

“It was a good story… she nursed the baby, under the supervision of her paramedic preceptor from Paddington,” he said.

“The mum was healthy, the baby was healthy and they were highly appreciative of our treatment.”

And mum Ronél has advised has advised us that both she and her baby continue to be in good spirits and good health a month after the birth.