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PC Alison Travis helps to deliver baby at side of road
FLASHING blue lights from a police escort were not enough to get this couple to the hospital in time for their baby’s dramatic arrival into the world.
Instead, Sarah Proud gave birth to son Henrie by the side of a busy road heading into York – with the help of an on-duty traffic officer.
PC Alison Travis was carrying out a traffic operation when she saw their car swerve to a halt.
“One of our specials, Chris Hartley, ran over saying a man was shouting his wife was in labour,” she said.
“I jumped in the traffic car to give them a blue light to York Hospital.
“We got through one set of traffic lights but then I saw the car brake really hard. I thought “uh oh – something is happening”.
“I immediately called for an ambulance on the radio and jumped out and ran around to the passenger side of their car.
“Matt had got to the passenger side too and suddenly, within seconds, the baby was there.
“I have been in the job 11-and-a-half years and been involved in a lot of things – but I have never been as scared as I was then.”
Matt said Sarah had rung him at work shortly after 9am to say her waters had broken.
“By the time I got home everything was going fine – her contractions were about 15 minutes apart, so we set off to the hospital but when we got to Fulford her contractions were very quick and Sarah said the baby was coming.
“Luckily, Alison said she could give us an escort but we only got about 50 yards up the road when Sarah said the baby’s head was crowning.
“It was terrifying to be honest. But it was all over very quickly.
“The baby just came within seconds and we wrapped Henrie up in towels we had in the car.
“It was pretty amazing.”
Matt and Sarah, of Wistow Road in Selby, have five other children; George, six, Lily, five, Freddie, four, Archie, two and Poppy, one.
“The first was quite a long labour, but after that they were all quick births.
“None quite as quick as Henry though,” said Matt.
Sarah said she could not remember much of the birth last Sunday.
“It was just over so fast,” she said. “I had phoned the hospital at 9.50am and Henrie was born at 10.19am, weighing 7lb 1 ounce.”
The couple said they were very thankful to PC Travis for being there, attempting to escort them to hospital and then phoning an ambulance as she closed a section of Fulford Road to give the proud parents some privacy.
PC Travis, 32, of Cattal, said police control room staff were shouting through to know the gender of the baby – and then offering suggestions for boy’s names.
“I jokingly said they should use my last name – Travis – as the baby’s middle name but they already had names picked out.”
She said she was touched when the grateful couple dropped off a card and chocolates two days later for herself and Special Constable Hartley.
“The whole experience was amazing,” she added. “In the rest of my career, I will never experience a moment like this.”