AS police community support officers, Sam Dyer and Donna Thompson have got used to taking the initiative in all sorts of challenging situations on their patch.
But the scenario that presented itself in Wisbech on Saturday afternoon December 17 was more than a little unusual, even for them.
They were returning to Wisbech Police Station in a patrol car when a man flagged them down near Bodgers in Lynn Road.
Shaking and agitated, the man told them his wife was on the verge of giving birth.
Donna, a mother of four, said: “We pulled over, I assessed the woman, who was on the back seat of a car, and immediately saw she was in full labour.
“I asked how far apart the contractions were and she said all the time and she wanted to push.
“I tried to keep her calm and said I had four children of my own. I told her to pant through the next one that came but the baby’s head was beginning to emerge.
“I went to the other side of the car and asked Sam to call for an ambulance. I began preparing the lady for giving birth and then the head popped out.”
Donna noticed the baby girl was a bluish colour and the umbilical cord was around her neck so she unhooked it and asked the woman, who lives at King’s Lynn, to push on the next contraction.
As the baby emerged, Donna cleaned her mouth and rubbed her back.
She added: “The baby started to cry and turned a lovely colour pink. It was all very fast and very surreal and it was quite emotional in the end.
“I couldn’t remember a lot of it afterwards – it’s like I just went into autopilot. I wouldn’t want to do it every day but it was great and what a Christmas present.
“Mum was great all the way through, even though she was scared, and Dad was ecstatic after baby was born.”
The baby was born at about 2.15pm. About five minutes later, paramedics arrived and then an ambulance, which took the healthy mother and baby to hospital.