For today’s Throwback Thursday, the spotlight is on FDNY Emergency Medical Technician Donna DiFede, who assisted over the phone at our Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) to deliver the daughter of NYPD Officer Johanna Ramirez in May 2020.
“This was one of those calls that you never forget. The room was silent and we we’re just waiting to hear the baby cry over the phone,” said DiFede, who joined the FDNY in 2019. “When the call came through and the father said that he could see the baby’s head, I took a deep breath and began to give him first aid instructions on what to do. It was such an emotional and intense moment, but we were all working together in order to make sure the baby and the mother were safe. Once EMS arrived on scene and we heard the baby cry, there was not a dry eye in the room.”
“It was during the height of the pandemic and while on our way to the hospital, my daughter decided to show up earlier than expected. We pulled over to the side of the road and called 911. That is when my husband got in contact with Donna and we were able to safely deliver my little princess Jaime,” added Ramirez.
In March of this year, DiFede and Ramirez met for the first time in front of Public Safety Answering Center (PSAC) 1 in Brooklyn. EMT Merisa Simons, who is friends with Ramirez, helped to set up the special reunion. DiFede also attended Jaime’s birthday party on May 14 where she met Jaime and her father, NYPD Officer Nicholas Ramirez, for the first time.
“I feel like I’ve known her forever. I am grateful to be an extension of her family now,” said DiFede.
A career in EMD is an option for our EMTs once they graduate from our EMS Academy. For DiFede, serving in EMD has provided her with a multifaceted way to help New Yorkers.
“Working at EMD as a call taker and a Dispatcher is a very fulfilling job for me. As a call taker, I am able to use my EMT skills over the phone to help people, and as a Dispatcher, it makes me still feel in touch with the streets. My main priority as a Dispatcher is safety for all the members out there and the patients that they are responding to,” said DiFede. “Everyday we work as a team here at EMD. We provide an essential role to the well oiled machine that is the FDNY. Times like this call in particular, and many others, are why I enjoy my job and recommend coming to the Department to anyone who is interested.”
In celebration of EMS Week, learn how you can become a FDNY EMT here.