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HEROES: Paterson's Bravest Deliver Bergen Newborn In Back Of Ambulance

Special delivery
Special delivery Photo Credit: Marcel Fagin on Unsplash

An Elmwood Park newborn wasn't waiting as two Paterson firefighters tried to rush her mom to the hospital. So they pulled over.

Parked on the side of the road, Silk City's bravest delivered a healthy baby girl in the back of their ambulance.

Firefighters Craig Puglise and Jeffrey Wanco responded to the mutual aid call at the Elmwood Village Apartment Homes on the other side of the Passaic River call just after 7:30 a.m.

They found the 22-year-old mom-to-be lying in bed with her boyfriend nearby, Paterson Public Safety Director Jerry Speziale said.

Her contractions were three minutes apart and she was in pain.

Getting her into the ambulance, they set out for Hackensack University Medical Center, Speziale said.

Then the baby began crowning.

Wanco told Puglise to pull over.

Puglise climbed in back, where he delivered the newborn. The heroes assessed her for breathing and airway obstructions -- all good -- and clamped the umbilical cord.

They then continued to the ER.

At last check, Mom and baby were doing fine.

"Today showed how there are no borders when life is at stake," Paterson Fire Chief Brian McDermott said.

The Elmwood Park couple needed help and the city firefighters sprang to it, he said.

"What a great moment in their lives," McDermott said. "It is a testament to the knowledge and skills of all Paterson firefighters. We wish the new family nothing but health and joy during this holiday season and the many years to come."

Elmwood Park Police Chief Michael Foligno thanked the firefighters for their "quick thinking and professionalism."

Both "showed calmness and poise under difficult circumstances and are deserving of honor and recognition for their actions," said Foligno, who's also the borough administrator. "Thank you both for representing your agency and all first responders so well!"

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