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Paramedic Up For Award after 18 Deliveries

A paramedic who has a reputation as a one-man baby boom after delivering 18 babies in around 20 years is now in the running for a top award.

Giovanni Riva, who has worked in Swansea and Cardiff during his career, will be battling it out for a prize in the first ever BBC 999 Awards.

The show is aimed at honouring the heroes of Britain's emergency services in an event which recognises the tireless work they do.

Mr Riva, 50, a dad himself, moved onto emergency medical services in 1989, which was the year he delivered his first baby.

He has been a paramedic since 1991, and in the course of one hectic 24 hours he delivered three babies.

Mr Riva previously said: "In those days we used to do double shifts, finishing at midnight and back in again for eight the next morning. I had done two the previous evening and the first job the next day was another and I delivered another baby."

His colleagues believe he probably holds the record for the most deliveries in the service.

In one case Giovanni helped Ynysybwl mum Amanda James to deliver baby Shaunagh James, who was a breech birth - which means she was delivered feet first and needed emergency oxygen after the umbilical cord got wrapped around her neck.

"My son was born by Caesarean section, so I know what it's like as a parent," he said. "I'm so happy that I was there and I did the best I could and that the outcome was successful."

Since the 999 emergency number came in to action 75 years ago, the police, fire and rescue, ambulance, coastguard and mountain rescue services have helped to save millions of lives.

Awards will be handed out to the most outstanding police officer, paramedic, fire and rescue worker, coastal rescuer, mountain rescuer, emergency volunteer, 999 operator and local hero.

Mirella Breda, the BBC's executive editor, entertainment commissioning, who is behind the show, said: "This just felt like a show that needed to be made. It promises to be a night filled with dramatic, inspiring and heart-warming stories."

Producers behind the awards show are now trying to track down some of the 18 babies he's delivered during his career to be filmed as part of the nomination back story.


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