In his regular job, Robert Roper rescues people in need of assistance.
In his spare time, he rescues people in need of assistance.
Roper, who has been a medical technician with the Nassau County Ambulance service for 18 years, has been a volunteer with the Glenwood Fire Companyfor 24 years so helping people is not something new.
But one of his more recent and arguably bigger rescues came Tuesday when he was summoned by a report of a woman giving birth at her home in Westbury, a section of Nassau County to which he’s been assigned for the last seven years.
“We received a call about a woman who’d just given birth. En route, we asked for information and were told that the baby was crying,” Roper said. Police officers arrived just ahead of his ambulance. “They told us then that the baby was not breathing or moving.” Roper rushed to the second-floor apartment, through an alley, and arrived at the home to find the mother “sitting there, holding her baby. He was blue, not breathing. The cord was attached. The officer was doing his best to resuscitate. I grabbed the clamps, cut the cord and took the baby to the ambulance.” He worked on the baby, who he estimated to be about 32 weeks old and weighing just 4 pounds, en route to Nassau University Medical Center, doing chest compressions and ventilations and “just before we got there, his color started to change and he got a heart rate back.”
He said the experience was “a little overwhelming but pretty neat.”
Another ambulance took the mother to the hospital.
For Roper his work and volunteer efforts are a family affair. His father, Richard, just recently received an award for 50 years service at Glenwood. In addition, his wife, Deana Langone Roper, his nephew, Andrew Greig also serve in the Glenwood department.