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Two policewomen turned midwives when they helped deliver a baby at a service station in Shoreham.
PC's Roisin Vafaee and Jenny Pietersen were at the Shell garage in Brighton Road on Wednesday evening when they were approached by a frantic father who had just pulled up there.
His wife was about to give birth in their car, so the two officers immediately went to her aid, comforted her and assisted with the birth of a baby girl.
An ambulance took the family to nearby Worthing Hospital where baby Thea weighed in at 8 lbs 10 oz. Both mother and baby are doing well and back home in Southwick.
PC Roisin Vafaee said; "I am truly honoured to have delivered Beth and Barry's baby girl, along with PC Pietersen. It's not every day that we respond to something like this; it made such a change from the incidents that I usually go to. I can honestly say it was my best day on the job so far. I wish Beth, Barry and Thea all the happiness in the world."
Chief Inspector Jo Banks said; "These two officers showed great initiative and professionalism in this unusual situation. I am very proud to work with and lead colleagues who are willing to rise to situations like this. I wish all the best to Beth, Barry and the new addition to their family."
Barry Marcantonio, the father said: "When we left home to get to hospital the time had escaped us until we hit rush hour traffic on the A27. I diverted off the A27 and decided to go along the seafront as it was becoming incredibly clear that our baby wanted to meet us."
"My wife spotted a police car at the Shell garage and I pulled over into the lay-by calling 999 while shouting for an exact location for the ambulance to get to us! The police officers rushed straight over and immediately assisted!"
Beth Marcantonio, the mother added: "In a situation where I should have been absolutely terrified I was bizarrely calm and totally reassured by Roisin's voice and I still remember exactly her first words to me- "Hello it's all ok we are both mums, you're going to be absolutely fine!
"My husband held on to my hand and had the paramedics on speaker phone guiding us all through our daughters very quick birth. In a very public place it quickly became safe and very private via all the officers that attended and ambulance crew!"
"We can not honestly thank Roisin and Jenny enough for their caring, attentive and calming influences on all of us - and Thea's first visitors in hospital being the officers that delivered her was just so thoughtful and totally heartfelt by us both! You're both a credit to your Station and we hope to bring Thea to visit you both very soon!"