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Sanford firefighters deliver 'ambulance baby' roadside

Baby Riley was ready to be born - before the paramedics had time to drive her mother to the hospital.

SANFORD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - A newborn baby in Sanford will have the story of a lifetime to tell when she grows up: about how she was born on the side of the road.

While the entire ordeal may have been a nightmare for her mother, she says it was made better by two firefighters who went above and beyond the call of duty to make sure that mother and child were safe - and well cared for.

"There are no words for me to describe how crazy it was," said Amanda Goodwin about the night of March 23.
That night - the delivery of her third child was not going according to plan.

She was 18 days early. She had no ride to the hospital and had to call an ambulance. She was so far into labor already that she would have to go to Biddeford instead of to her doctor in York.

Without her family, without her doctor, and stuck in the back of an ambulance - Amanda found an unlikely support team: paramedic firefighters Anna Allard and Mario Stefano.

But there would be one more major change in plans. Baby Riley wasn't going to wait until the hospital.

"I kept thinking 'this only happens on TV. This is not real,'" said Goodwin. "This is not happening right now."
The next few minutes were chaos.

Mario Stefano was in the back of the ambulance with Goodwin. Anna Allard was driving - but had to pull over so the duo could deliver Goodwin's baby on the side of Route 111 in Arundel.

Goodwin described the stressful few minutes. "I was like 'I think I need to push and [Stefano] was like 'no I don't think you do' and then all of a sudden there she was."

Pulled over on the side of the road, just minutes from the hospital, in the back of an ambulance: a healthy 7 pounds 9 ounces Baby Riley came into this world.

Amanda and Riley went to the hospital and parted ways with their firefighter heroes.

"She was a little famous [in the hospital], said Goodwin. "Every shift change somebody came in and said 'oh this is the baby born in the ambulance!' or 'oh this is the ambulance baby!'"

But Amanda wanted to thank those paramedics, and did so by posting this message on Facebook - which has now been liked over 500 times.

"A HUGE HEART FELT shout out to Sanford Fire Department and directly to the two crew members who delivered our amazing baby girl just minutes from the hospital in their rig!! They did an awesome job and she is so perfect," it reads.

One month later, they're reunited, and Anna and Mario get to see the baby they helped bring into this world.

"We have a tendency to usher a lot of people out of this world so it's nice to bring somebody in," said Stefano.

A badge of honor now sits on Rescue 2: a stork sticker, representing Riley's birth inside that very ambulance.
Stefano and Allard say it was one of the best calls of their careers.

"You know, I heard her first cry," said Allard. "I watched her take her first breath. So many times we are watching people take their last breath, so it was monumental in a variety of reasons. But it was almost circle of life. It was pretty moving."