a BELPER first aider is encouraging more people to join St John Ambulance after helping a woman who gave birth in the street.
Vernon Harper, president of Belper St John Ambulance Division, was present when 44-year-old grandmother Jane Eadie unexpectedly gave birth to a baby boy on King Street on Saturday, September 24.
Vernon, 68, helped look after the mother and the baby and relayed details of their condition to woman there who was on the phone to ambulance control.
He said: “When I got out there, the baby had been born. I checked that the baby was okay and then turned my attention to the mum and made sure an ambulance was on its way.
“There were a few people who had come to help and I was relaying the information about the mum and baby’s condition to the woman on the phone to the emergency services. “The mum had been confused and in shock, so I kept reassuring her and checking how long the ambulance was going to be. I was concerned that the mother was still bleeding but they told me not to worry about that. When the paramedics arrived I told them who I was and handed over to them.”
The healthy baby boy has been named James Terrance, after Jane’s dad and her husband Gary’s father, and weighed 5lb 13oz. The family say they are bowled over by James’ arrival.
Jane was in Belper with her husband Gary, 55, daughter Elizabeth Anderson, 25, son-in-law Andrew Anderson, 42, as well as grandson Andrew Jnr, aged four.
“She had no idea whatsoever she was pregnant,” said Elizabeth. “She has been going to slimming classes in Heanor, but could not understand why she wasn’t losing any weight.
“She blamed it on slimming pills, which she had stopped taking a year before.”
Vernon has been a volunteer with the first aid charity for more than 15 years and prior to that was a first aider at work.
St John Ambulance’s Belper division meets weekly and has adult and youth members – cadets aged ten to 16 and badgers aged five to ten. On Saturday, October 8, the St John Ambulance marquee will be at Belper Farmers’ Market, where volunteer trainers will be giving demonstrations and handing out free first aid guides.
Anyone wanting to find out more or to sign up for a first aid training course, visit www.sja.org.uk/derbyshire or call 0845 130 4999.