Paramedics couldn’t reach a Miami woman because of Hurricane Irma, so she gave birth at home

A view of a rainy wind gust at Collins Avenue and 22nd Street in Miami Beach as Hurricane Irma began to approach Saturday. PEDRO PORTAL pportal@miamiherald.com

Though Miami has largely been spared the worst of Hurricane Irma, winds grew so extreme overnight in the city that Miami’s rescue crews were told to begin using judgment when deciding whether to respond to emergency calls.

One homeowner in Flagami at 331 SW 71st Ave. was lucky that firefighters were able to come out with two fire engines and extinguish a fire after a downed electrical wire set the building ablaze.

Fire rescue contacted FPL, which shut down the grid. No one was injured.

Paramedics also rescued a man who badly cut his arm and lost his pulse.

But a pregnant woman in Little Haiti wasn’t quite so lucky.

With paramedics unable to go out into the storm, a dispatcher talked the woman through delivering her baby at home Sunday morning, according to Assistant Fire Chief Eloy Garcia, who wasn’t sure if the baby was a boy or girl.

“We weren’t able to respond. So she delivered the placenta, also. Dispatch told her how to tie it off. She’s stable at home,” Garcia said. “We made contact with the assistant medical director here. Talked things through.”

Pete Gomez, Miami’s emergency management director, said conditions remain dangerous, so replacement crews will not be coming in until the weather improves.

“We’ve got to follow our protocol,” he said.

Gomez said he also got a call Saturday night around 10 p.m. from the police chief in Miami Shores police chief about an 18 story building with elderly residents where the sea wall had been washed out.

Gomez said the chief wanted to know if the situation was dangerous. He said Miami’s building director talked to police about evacuating the bottom floor.

“It washed out a sea wall completely. I’ve never seen that here,” Gomez said. “It’s indicative of the damage the surges can cause.”

As for police, Deputy Police Chief Luis Cabrera said the night was mostly quiet, save for plenty of downed trees. He urged people to stay inside.

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