PC Mia Kerr and PC Tom Palmer were on regular patrols in Southwark on Friday, 20 August when at around 5,45pm they were frantically waved down by a father-to-be to ask for help, as his partner was going into labour nearby in the street, supported by a kind stranger who was passing by.
After PC Mia Kerr informed the control room, PC Kirsty Roberts and PC Ali Miah swiftly arrived to provide further assistance. Officers quickly realised they would need to deliver the baby.
All officers on scene rose to the occasion; PC Kerr comforted the mother, whilst PC Palmer and PC Miah gathered make-shift items to assist the delivery. Other officers held up blankets for privacy to ensure members of the public were able to pass by without intruding.
Over the phone, London Ambulance Service (LAS) guided PC Roberts through how deliver the baby. There was a complication due to the umbilical cord being wrapped around the baby’s neck. PC Roberts was able to keep calm, unwrap the cord and delivery the baby safely.
When the baby was born, LAS advised PC Roberts to find something to tie the cord and she ingeniously thought to use the elastic tie on a medical face mask, which was tied by PC Kerr.
The baby boy was then wrapped up in a blanket and bandages from police first aid kits as they waited for the LAS who arrived shortly afterwards to continue care.
PC Kerr, from the Emergency Response Team in Southwark, said: “This was an overwhelming and incredible experience, being able to help such a beautiful family in their time of need. It was not what I expected when I started my shift that day, but I knew we needed to act quickly for the safety of both mother and baby. In the moment we kept focused on the task at hand so we could support them and help as much as possible.”
PC Roberts, also from the Emergency Response Team in Southwark, said: “This was an unbelievable experience. The team leapt into action without hesitation when they realised what was going on.
“We’re used to dealing with emergencies and the unexpected, but this did take us a little by surprise. It’s been so lovely to see how the family have been getting on. It was a privilege to deliver their baby and it’s something I will never forget.”
All officers involved have expressed that this has been the highlight of their careers and a memory to last a lifetime. They all hope to keep in contact with the family.
New mother Martina said: “It was at the same time the scariest and most wonderful experience we ever had.
“The right lovely people happened to be there and we feel incredibly lucky. Their kindness made us so comfortable that I couldn’t feel any fear and we honestly have no words to thank them enough.
“Our family will remember them for the rest of our life.”