Monday started off like any other shift for Halifax Regional Police Const. Hannah Burridge and her partner Const. Kali MacDonald.
The pair have been partners since December and work patrolling Halifax’s north end. But shortly before 9:30 a.m., a call came in that neither will forget.
“I remember very clearly our dispatcher came over the radio and asked us,’would you guys like to go assist in delivering a baby?'” said Burridge.
“I remember myself and my partner just kind of looked at each other and with big smiles said ‘yep, we’ll take it.'”
The officers raced to the scene on Lynch Street and got there moments after a pair of paramedics.
“We arrived and it was very obvious that this baby was coming, regardless of whether or not we wanted her to or not and there was no time unfortunately to get mom or baby to a hospital,” said Burridge.
As luck would have it, MacDonald used to be a paramedic and just joined the police force three months ago.
“I switched uniforms altogether. I did 12 years as a paramedic before joining the force,” she said. “Anytime you’re delivering a baby of course you’re thinking you want everything to go perfectly. You want to go in there and see a head and not feet obviously. So, we went in and the mother was doing fabulous.”
Just 24 minutes after officers and paramedics arrived, a little baby girl was born.
“I stole that baby instantly and said ‘I’ll take care of the baby’ and the paramedics kept taking care of mom,” said MacDonald.
“That mom is literally a superstar.”
Both mom and baby were taken to the IWK Children’s Hospital and are doing well. In fact, the officers had the chance to meet up with the family on Tuesday.
“I was grinning ear-to-ear to say the least and quite emotional because it’s a pretty incredible experience to be a part of,” said Burridge.
EHS says they more than happy to have the assistance of the police on this job.
“Dispatchers, paramedics and patients meet as strangers and share in an amazing moment. It is an honour to be part of these moments and hear a baby’s first cry,” said Jean Spicer, spokesperson for EHS.
Although Halifax Regional Police officers respond to a variety of calls each day, officials say helping to deliver a baby is still a rarity.
“Yesterday was a good shift, one I`ll remember for my whole career,” said MacDonald.
“We do deal with a lot of very tough situations,” said Burridge. “I have a 6-year-old daughter myself and when I walked in the door I was so excited to tell her all about my day and what had happened. Again, I was just on this high to have this life experience that not many people, especially police officers actually get to be a part of, I mean outside of a hospital especially, where so much is at stake.”