Ambo? delivers the goods
By JAMIE BROWN
EVANS HEAD ambulance paramedic Penny Anne Wheeler transferred to the small coastal town to get closer to community caring.
And she's got it in spades. A native of The Channon, Penny has been an 'ambo' for nearly 11 years, including time in Sydney where she was shot at in Auburn.
"One of the reasons I came here was to find more community involvement, to find a more rewarding job," she said.
Early last Thursday, just over a month into her new job, Penny Anne got her chance.
Evans Head woman Jenny Merton was ready to give birth to her seventh baby. Really ready!
"If we'd waited for my mother to arrive from south of Woodburn to care for the other children it would have been too late," she said yesterday.
Jenny's husband, Rob Anderson, rang 000 just after midnight and an ambulance arrived in 12 minutes.
With senior paramedic Michael Swinbourne driving, Penny Anne bundled Jenny into the ambulance and they started for Lismore Base Hospital, 35 minutes away. But the baby didn't wait that long.
At Woodburn, Jenny's water broke and 10 minutes later, near Tucki ridge, Michael had to pull over while Penny Anne delivered a healthy girl.
"They're pretty slippery little suckers, so you have to stop the vehicle," Penny Anne explained. "You don't want to be moving when they come out!"
The birth was smooth as the proverbial, and the result produced smiles all around.
In return, Rob and Jenny have incorporated a little bit of Penny Anne into their new child, naming her Sharlie-Anne Anderson.