There's snow rush for Olivia

Wednesday, 20 January, 2010

Picture left to right above are Clive, Dean holding son Evan, midwife Chrissy, Carly holding baby Olivia and Sandy

As the snow began to fall heavily during December, paramedic Sandy Swann and emergency medical technician Ken Bradley received a call to a woman in labour.

Their journey from Letchworth station to the village of Cottered was not going to be easy. Huge snow drifts, treacherous driving conditions and abandoned cars made their journey very difficult. As they approached their destination, the access to the north Hertfordshire village was appalling. But Ken's excellent driving skills meant the crew arrived safely at Carly and Dean Howard's home.

Carly was in a stable condition and following assessments, she and Dean were placed in the ambulance. Both Ken and Sandy were well aware the journey to hospital was going to be interesting! Whilst Ken was driving through the nearby village of Walkern, the roads were at a standstill, as stranded motorists had abandoned their cars in the road. They went back into the village to take refuge in a friend of Carly's house and the crew called for support to continue the transfer to the maternity unit.

The roads were completely shut to all traffic, but duty officer Clive Goodson answered the rescue call with a 4x4 to get stranded crews and patient. On route, Clive was requested to pick up local midwife Chrissy Cass and as they made their way through Stevenage Road towards Walkern, the only access was through adjacent fields.

They finally reached the crew, and Carly and her husband were taken to Lister Hospital. The rescue operation had taken a couple of hours but it was all worth it as the following day at 8am, Olivia Howard entered the world, weighing 7Ib 8oz. Clive said: "Both Ken and Sandy did extremely well to reach Carly and Dean in one of the worst snow blizzards we have seen around Hertfordshire for sometime."

Clive and Sandy made a special visit to the Howard household to see how they were getting on following their unusual journey to hospital. Carly said: "It was great to meet up with the crew and the midwife again. I cannot thank them enough for their professionalism. My husband and I will not forget the night in a hurry."

Sandy praised Ken - unable to make the meet-up as he was grounded by the snow - for his driving skills on the evening: "His driving to and from the incident on the night was exceptional."

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