Being a police officer, there are a lot of things that you have to do to protect and serve the community. When you sign up to become an officer, you probably get visions in your head of going on high speed chases, handing out parking tickets or breaking up bar fights. What you probably wouldn’t expect is to help a family deliver a baby, especially when you’re still in training. That’s what happened to Jonathan Sanchez, who was recently hired by the Palm Beach Gardens Police Department in Florida.
Sanchez still had an entire week left of training when he received a call toward the end of his shift. “It was for a woman in labor,” Sanchez said. “So, I figured ‘Okay I’m going to go there and I’m going to help out with fire rescue, maybe holding bags or something.’” Sanchez was the first on the scene, however, and found Jay Stern on the ground ready to give birth, with crowning beginning.
“I called the ambulance and I was on the phone with them and her head was crowning,” Stern said. “And I said ‘She’s coming.’ And the lady on the phone said, ‘Do not push. Whatever you do, don’t push.’” Sanchez arrived at the neighborhood at around 5 a.m., but was having trouble finding the right home. “When I heard her screaming from the patio, I knew I was in the right place for one, and for two I was the only there so I knew I had to get in there quick.”
Stern was the only one at the home since she was housesitting for a friend, so it was just she and Sanchez on the scene. Within just a half hour, Stern gave birth to her daughter Riley thanks to Sanchez. “I just did what I had to do to help her,” he said. “Her head came out and he got on his knee and helped me the rest of the way,” said Stern. “I wouldn’t have done it without him. I couldn’t have done it without him.”
Part of Sanchez helping out included unwrapping the cord that was around Riley’s neck, giving her the ability to breathe. The rookie police officer surprised many by his ability to help deliver the baby. The training for the Beach Gardens Police Department includes standard emergency procedures that include childbirth. “I keep hearing from a lot of the other senior officers 10-years, 15, 20-years and they’ve never done it,” Sanchez said.
Stern said that “I’m eternally grateful to officer Sanchez. He is incredible. I don’t think a lot of men, especially in my situation, getting down on his knee and taking care of business like that to a woman he doesn’t know.” Sanchez has plans of having children of his own with his wife, and now they say that a potential daughter could possibly be named Riley after the baby girl that Sanchez helped deliver.