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Paramedic crew reunited with safe surrender baby they delivered last year

Hall Ambulance Service, Inc.

A Hall Ambulance crew experienced what other EMS workers seldom get to-reunite with their patient. Typically, they respond to 9-1-1 calls, provide patient care, transport to the ER, and then prepare for the next request for medical aid, rarely getting closure of those they cared for.

On March 5 that changed for Paramedic Marian Anson and EMT Michelle Guidotti when they became VIP guests to an adoption party for a baby boy they delivered last year.

"While traveling down the road, I got to deliver my first baby," said Paramedic Anson, assisted by EMT Guidotti, while a second EMT drove the ambulance. "It was definitely a little nerve-wracking, but one of the most exciting days I've had at Hall Ambulance. It was amazing! Getting to hear him cry after was beautiful." On arrival at the ER, the baby was given up through California's Safe Surrender Program. The next day he was taken home by an incredibly loving foster family.

When they received word that their hopes of adoption were going to go through, the family contacted Hall Ambulance to see if there was any chance of locating the crew that delivered him. They wanted them to be able to watch the live stream of the adoption and then attend Oliver's adoption party at their home. According to his mom, Helen Parr (name changed for privacy), it was important to have Anson and Guidotti there to celebrate Oliver because she was not there for his first moments of life. "Marian and Michelle were his first friends in the world and knowing that he was cared for by them really bridges that gap from his life before meeting us, as short as that may be, to his life with us," Parr said.

As the ambulance rolled up to the family's home, they found a large, themed celebration happening, complete with yard art, and a VW Bus photo booth. The crew brought with them a couple of surprises of their own, including the bigger-than-life Siren the Rescue Dog, who passed out cuddle-sized versions of the Hall Ambulance mascot to the kids. Paramedic Anson gave Oliver a handmade plush-toy version of the ambulance he rode in, complete with the unit number, while EMT Guidotti gave him an activity table. In addition, Hall Ambulance President and CEO Lavonne C. Hall sent one of her handmade baby quilts constructed using swatches from her late husband's (founder of Hall Ambulance and Bakersfield's 25th Mayor) dress shirts, along with a newly published coffee table book detailing the Company's 50th Anniversary being celebrated this year.

The reunion with Oliver and the meet-and-greet brought tears of happiness to the first responders. EMT Guidotti said of the experience, "It was such an honor not only to be able to witness Oliver's birth first-hand but also to witness his adoption ceremony. Holding Oliver and seeing his smiling face will always be a moment in time that I will deeply cherish. Every call has the potential to have a bad ending, but I am so grateful Oliver's new story is just the beginning."

The feeling was mutual for Paramedic Anson, "It was a very special moment. There are no words to describe how excited and happy I was to see that Oliver got adopted. It was awesome to meet his family!"

The Parr family was equally excited for them to be there. "Marian and Michelle are a part of Oliver's history, and what an exciting way to start a journey! We will definitely have a great story to tell him when he is older," Helen said.

About California's Safely Surrender Program:

California's Safely Surrender law was passed in 2001. Since then, more than 700 babies have been safely surrendered. In the same period, abandonments have decreased to an average of less than five a year.

The program allows a parent or other with lawful custody to take the newborn to a safe place (hospitals and usually fire stations) if they cannot care for him or her. It is legal, confidential, and free.

State that you would like to safely surrender the baby. The employee will give you and the baby matching ID bracelets. This will help you reconnect with the baby if you change your mind within 14 days. You will be provided with an optional medical questionnaire. This information can help keep the baby safe and healthy. You are then free to go – there are no other requirements. The baby will be placed in a loving adoptive home and you will be free to go.

For more information, visit: http://www.cdss.ca.gov/inforesources/safely-surrendered-baby.