FIREFIGHTER Scott Draper is used to - literally - putting out fires.

But his role became a little more figurative after an eventful shift saw him drafted in to welcome a baby girl into the world.

Mr Draper has been an on-call firefighter at Billericay Fire Station for more than 15 years but, due to the coronavirus pandemic, has been working as an ambulance driver for almost two months.

The Essex County Fire and Rescue Service firefighter - along with his colleagues - was required to take a woman to hospital as she had gone into labour almost two weeks early.

But, when he arrived, the baby girl decided she wanted to make her entrance into the world much sooner than expected and the team had no option but to deliver her at home.

The firefighter enjoyed a cuddle with baby Zowie after playing a key role and it was a moment he will never forget.

He said: “To deliver a baby was such an incredible experience and I’m glad we were able to welcome Zowie into the world safely.

“It’s been amazing to work with the Ambulance Service and it’s a nice change from being a firefighter to being an ambulance driver.

“We’ve been able to get stuck in and help more than we thought we would and the knowledge we’ve learnt has been amazing and will help in our firefighter role.

“It’s nice to get an insight into a different service and every person I’ve met has welcomed me and all the other firefighters with open arms.”

Alongside 18 other on-call firefighters seconded to the East of England Ambulance Service Trust, Scott - who works as a landscaper outside of the service - has been completing 12-hour shifts to respond to emergencies across the county.

However, he could not have expected to help deliver a baby during his brief stint away from his usual role as a firefighter.

Scott earned plenty of praise from the Essex County Fire and Rescue Service’s chief fire officer and chief executive for his actions, on Wednesday.

Jo Turton said: “I’m delighted that Scott has been part of such a wonderful experience and this little girl will one day be proud to find out that a paramedic and firefighter both helped to welcome her into the world.

“Our firefighters have gained so much experience while supporting the Ambulance Service and other emergency service colleagues while they serve those who live, work and travel in Essex.”