25 December, 2013: A courier from Laington, Essex had a bit of a surprise last September, as he found himself helping 999 ambulance workers with an unusual and unexpected delivery.
26-year-old Lee Cossins and partner Crystal Lang were lying in bed watching television when Crystal went into labour with their five-day overdue baby. Panicked, Cossins called the 999 ambulance service, where one of the hotline operators talked him through his predicament. Ironically, despite Crystal being a midwife herself, her baby girl, Freya ended up being delivered in just six minutes by the father himself, assisted over the phone by the 999 call operator. By the time the ambulance itself arrived at the couple’s home, the newborn was already out and safely nestled in her mother’s arms.
At the end of the endeavour, the courier declared himself very happy with the level of help that the 999 operator had provided, guiding him through the delivery step by step. The mother, on the other hand, considered those six minutes the scariest of her entire life and expressed relief that her newborn daughter had been delivered safely.
Freya, the couple’s second child, was delivered mere hours after hospital workers had told Cossins and Lang that Crystal was not yet ready to give birth, even despite the fact that the baby was already overdue. It was with that assessment in mind that the Essex couple returned home and put on a Wallace and Gromit DVD for their other child, three-year-old Ethan. The film was not to reach its conclusion, however, as halfway through Crystal went into labour, kick-starting the entire adventure.
The Essex couple’s unexpected delivery ended up making the local news, thanks to a six-minute tape recording of Cossins’s original call somehow finding its way onto the Channel 5 news broadcast. The East of England Ambulance Service Trust (EEAST) has been using this call as a shining example of the work their calm, collected call operators are capable of undertaking.
The EEAST receives an average of 2700 calls each month, and has an estimated time of 8 minutes between the end of a call and the ambulance reaching its destination, with 75% of requests being answered within that time span.
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