Station 134 Ucluelet community paramedics Marthe Bakker and Jesse Law had one epic workweek that amounted to a trio of successful calls.
On March 1, they delivered a baby boy on Tofino’s First Street Dock then in the following days, they helped a Ucluelet resident bounce back from diabetic shock and stabilized a person that had overdosed.
“A lot of the time you realize you can’t help people, but then you have a week where you actually make a difference,” said Bakker.
She said Tofino firefighters were on the scene and had assessed contractions when they arrived at the dock in the ambulance. Bakker, who was 30 weeks pregnant at the time, said the delivery happened in the back of the ambulance between the First Street Dock and the Tofino General Hospital.
“It only took a minute. In a couple pushes he came out. I stimulated him until he made a sound and then put him on mom’s chest,” said Bakker, noting that the hospital staff took care of the cord cutting and weighing.
“Some paramedics go their whole life without a delivery. Now we’re part of the club of paramedics that delivered a baby,” she said. The local paramedics will receive blue stork pins to commemorate the birth.
Originally from the Netherlands with a degree in Kinesiology, Bakker has been a Primary Care Paramedic (PCP) since 2013. She says the job is never boring and encouraged others with an interest in health care to consider paramedic training.
“I signed up because I wanted to help people in the community. (Emergency Health) is a really good trajectory if you want to change career paths or re-school,” said Bakker.
Ucluelet community paramedic unit chief Rachelle Cole says the job is rewarding and gives staff the ability to contribute to the West Coast in a meaningful way.
“It doesn’t get more defined when you are literally out here saving lives,” said Cole.
Due to some maternal and paternal leave, the Ucluelet station is actively recruiting to fill the schedule and keep the ambulance staffed.
“We are hiring. If you have a Class 4 Unrestricted License please call me (250-266-1179). I can help guide you through the process in an expedited manner,” said Cole.
“People can start as a driver and train to be an Emergency Medical Responder then go to PCP. It’s an excellent starting point for jumping into health care and there is a lot of opportunity for growth in-house,” she went on to say.