Scottish Ambulance Service hero helps save mum and newborn during dangerous roadside birth

An emergency service call handler has been recognised for his cool-headed help delivering a baby, who was born not breathing, on the side of a busy motorway.

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Neil Hardy from South Queensferry was working at the East Ambulance Control Centre when he received a call from a terrified father who was driving to hospital on the motorway.

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The father’s partner had gone into labour in the back of the car and Mr Hardy provided instructions over the phone, helping the father deliver the baby at the side of the motorway.

Neil Hardy has been named UK Emergency Medical Dispatcher of the Year.

But a second crisis struck when the baby came out feet first and was not breathing when born.

Mr Hardy instructed the father to clear the airwaves and administer CPR while an ambulance tried to reach them.

When the emergency services arrived the newborn was breathing normally and both mother and baby have made a full recovery.

Mr Hardy has been named UK Emergency Medical Dispatcher of the Year at the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch conference.

“Being nominated for the award of Emergency Medical Dispatcher of the Year by my colleagues is extremely humbling,” said Mr Hardy.

“Assisting with the delivery of a baby over the phone is one of the most challenging calls to take.

“In this particular case there were added complications with the birth, including the limited space of a car backseat on the side of a motorway.

“Later finding out that both Mum and Baby have recovered and are doing well is hugely rewarding and reflects on the efforts and expertise of the whole team involved in their care.

“Emergency call handlers are the first ambulance response to patients calling for help and I am proud to be part of the team that does this in Scotland.”

Chief Executive of the Scottish Ambulance Service Pauline Howie said: “Our call handlers are the first line of contact between patients and the ambulance crew, and their knowledge, experience and ability to keep calm under pressure can make such a difference to patients and save lives. I’m so proud of Neil Hardy for his actions, and this award is testament to his dedication, and of the ACC as a whole, in providing care to patients across Scotland.”

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