By DONALD WITTKOWSKI
Jeanne Golato went into labor – and her baby didn’t want to wait for a trip to the hospital.
“It happened so fast,” Golato recalled. “I was having contractions every 30 seconds to a minute. I told my husband to call 9-1-1.”
The call came into the Sea Isle City Police Department at 3:42 p.m. on Jan. 27. The baby was born a mere 10 minutes later with the help of Sea Isle emergency medical technicians and police officers who rushed to the scene.
While the birth of a child is not exactly a rare occurrence in most places, this one was particularly special because it was the first in Sea Isle since the 1970s.
The baby boomlet in the resort town was cause for celebration during an emotional ceremony at the City Council meeting Tuesday.
Jeanne Golato, her husband, Joe, and their 3-year-old daughter, Briella, were there, along with Jeanne’s parents, Jim and Regina Shrader. The newborn, a girl named Luciana, wasn’t there in person, but her proud father held a portrait of her during the ceremony.
The Golatos live in Media, Pa. Jeanne gave birth during a family visit at her parents’ house on 55th Street in Sea Isle. She was in distress before the first responders arrived.
She already has an idea of what she will tell Luciana when her girl is old enough to understand.
“She came into the world in a crazy way, but it all worked out,” Jeanne said with a laugh in an interview.
During the ceremony, Joe Golato expressed a heartfelt thank you to the EMTs and police officers for taking such great care of his wife and baby.
“If not for them, I don’t know what would have happened. The police and EMTs did an incredible job,” he said.
The EMTs who assisted in the delivery were Kris Lynch and D.J. Fancher, while the police officers included Patrolmen Alex Symanski, Steve Jankowski and Shawn Lesniewski.
Police Chief Tom McQuillen credited the EMTs and officers for doing a “tremendous job.”
“We often hear about the bad things that happen, but this was truly a miracle,” McQuillen said.
Mayor Leonard Desiderio, who presided over the ceremony, said the successful delivery of a baby outside of a hospital underscored the importance of Sea Isle having a team of professional first responders to handle emergencies.
“While this was clearly an unusual situation, there are countless situations that occur throughout the year, even in the winter, that require trained professionals to respond at a moment’s notice,” Desiderio said. “Most of these situations go unnoticed; but this was worth mentioning, and my thanks go to all of our first responders for their dedication and professionalism.”
Desiderio noted that it appears this was the first birth in Sea Isle since 1977, dating back to the days when the town still had its own hospital.
He called it a “very, very happy occasion.”
As part of the ceremony, the mayor presented the Golatos with a key to the city. He handed it to their pint-sized daughter, Briella, who grasped it with her tiny fingers.
“This gets you all of the ice cream that you want in December,” Desiderio told the girl as the Council chambers erupted in laughter.