(Reuters) - A baby boy was born on a crowded Philadelphia subway train late on Christmas Day, delivered by two transit policemen who harkened to the call of duty armed with surgical gloves and lots of pluck.
“I don’t think we had time to get nervous or get scared,” Sergeant Daniel Caban said on Friday.
Caban was patrolling at street level when he got word of the impending birth at about 6 p.m. from commuters exiting the subway. Officer Darrell James quickly joined him on the Market Frankford Line train after hearing an emergency announcement over radio.
On bare train seats, Caban, 34, helped remove the woman’s pants while James, 29, delivered the child.
The father of the baby removed his sweater and handed it to the men to wrap his new child in. Passengers stood by and held open the train’s doors during the ordeal to keep the train from leaving the station.
Neither officer with the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) had ever helped deliver a stranger’s baby, they said.
After unwrapping the umbilical cord from around the newborn’s neck, paramedics entered the train car and took over.
The medics cut the umbilical cord and took the baby and his mother by ambulance to the Hahnemann University Hospital.
The pair was in good condition on Friday afternoon, hospital spokeswoman Gianna DeMedio said.
On Friday, Caban and James visited the mother, who was excited to see them and grateful for their help, they said.
“The experience was awesome,” Caban said.
Reporting by Laila Kearney; Editing by Richard Chang