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When ambulances were backlogged due to the coronavirus outbreak Sunday, two New York City police officers helped a pregnant woman give birth inside her Bronx apartment, unwrapping the umbilical cord from the child’s neck and safely placing the baby girl into her mother’s arms.
Officers Nicholas Torrisi, 27, and Joseph Feger, 29, both of the 47th Precinct, were about an hour into their shift when they received the 911 call at about 12:40 a.m. They arrived to find a 31-year-old woman, whose name was not released, going into labor in the bedroom of her first-floor apartment in the Wakefield neighborhood in the Bronx.
“We requested an ambulance to the location. But basically, we couldn’t get an estimated time of arrival,” Torrisi told the New York Daily News. “They had a backlog from everything that’s going right now, the whole coronavirus thing. There were no ambulances available at the time.”
The officers planned to transport the woman to the hospital themselves but had no time.
“She was obviously going into labor contractions weren’t very far apart,” Torrisi told the New York Post. “We kind of braced ourselves on either side of her, holding her hand and trying to, you know, reassure her, like, ‘Miss Come on push… you can do it right, we’re here for you.’”
The woman’s friend who was with her when the officers arrived said she could see the baby’s head coming out, prompting the officers to switch gears.
The friend grabbed one of the woman’s hands, Feger the other. Torrisi then changed positions to prepare to deliver the child.
“I was probably the most nervous person in the room. The mom was doing really well,” Feger said.
The baby was delivered less than 15 minutes after the officers first responded to the 911 call.
The woman “gave a few pushes, the head of the baby came out,” Torrisi told the Daily News. “When the head came out, the umbilical cord was actually around the child’s neck, and I was moving the child to get the cord from around the neck.
“At that point, I had the baby in my hands and I said, ‘Oh, look. You got a beautiful baby girl.’”
“I’ve never delivered a baby before in my life,” Torrisi continued. “I was, like, ecstatic. I’ve never felt anything like that in my life, holding a baby that was just born. It’s kind of indescribable.”
“Early this morning, these @NYPD47Pct police officers responded to a call for a woman in labor. They soon found themselves helping deliver a healthy baby girl at home, & transporting mom & NYC’s newest child to the hospital,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot F. Shea tweeted Sunday morning. “Outstanding job by our cops, & congratulations to mom!”
Torrisi and Feger said they carried the unidentified woman and her new baby girl Ariah into their police car and drove them both to North Central Bronx Hospital, where mother and daughter were expected to stay until Tuesday.
Meanwhile, New York City has recorded at least 33,768 confirmed cases of coronavirus, with 776 deaths from the by Monday morning, according to Johns Hopkins University.
There are only six countries with more cases than New York City: United States, Italy, Spain, China, Germany and France. Cases in New York City make up 56.5 percent of the cases in New York state.
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