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Delivering Under Pressure: St. Clairsville Police Officers Help Woman Give Birth

Photo Provided St. Clairsville police Officers Andy Klotz, left, and Kevin Yates responded to a call about a woman in labor on Jan. 9 and helped deliver the baby. Both men are fathers and said that experience served them well in assisting a woman in labor.

ST. CLAIRSVILLE — Delivering a baby is not a normal part of a police officer’s job, but two city officers were called on to do just that last Sunday night.

Officers Kevin Yates and Andy Klotz responded quickly and helped bring a new life into the world when they got the call for help.

“Central dispatch gave a call of a female screaming on the phone, possibly in labor. We responded to the Days Inn West, where we located the female. She was in pain. Both of us identified that she was absolutely in labor. We talked her through some stuff, tried to calm her down, and we delivered the baby,” Yates said.

He said the entire process probably occurred in less than five minutes.

“The baby was coming. There was no choice. The baby said, ‘I’m coming,’ and she was here,” Yates recounted.

“It’s not too often a police officer gets a call to deliver a baby,” Klotz added.

While assisting a woman in labor is not covered in police training, Yates and Klotz both had some background in these situations.

“Myself, I have four children. My partner has a child, and we reverted back to when we were in the delivery room delivering our kids and remembering everything the doctor did then and trying to do the basics of getting this kid out safe,” Yates said.

“This is my first time. I didn’t have any experience doing it, but Officer Yates and I both have children, and we were both there with our wives and were able to support our wives through the delivery and birth of our children. It was just a good feeling to be able to be there for her and support her,” Klotz said of the woman.

“Our natural instinct kicks in, which happens a lot for pretty much any kind of call we get. Officer Yates and I work very well together, and we were able to come together and do what needed to be done,” Klotz said.

He added that they were relieved there were no complications during the birth.

“That’s what we were glad for,” Yates said. “A healthy baby girl.”

“The baby’s 6 pounds, 3 ounces and healthy,” Klotz said.

They added that their peace officer training, such as diffusing a tense situation and conversing with the public, had some applications in that scenario.

“We’re not trained in how to deliver babies, but just knowing we had to calm her,” Yates said. “Just so she’s not screaming and out of it. Let her know, ‘We’re here to help you. Calm down. We need your help just like you need ours right now.'”

“That was one of our main goals, to try and keep her calm,” Klotz said. “Just giving her support and waiting for the squad to get there.”

Yates added that knowing and practicing sanitary procedures also served them well.

“We always have medical gloves on us. We put our gloves on and just used the towels that were in the room,” he said.

“She was by herself. We didn’t ask too many questions in regards to that. She was very appreciative after she found out the baby was healthy,” Yates said. “She was shocked that it was the police who delivered the baby.

The officers do not know who the woman was or where she went when she checked out of the hotel.

“We don’t have that info, and that’s the worst part of the career – we probably won’t know,” Yates said.

They added that police officers never quite know what they will see when responding to a call.

“I call this the once-in-a-lifetime,” Yates said. “If we’re put in that position, we’ll do the same thing we did, but hopefully it’s a doctor doing it.”

“It’s not typically something that police work entails, but it’s an emergency situation,” city Police Chief Matt Arbenz said. “The situation dictated they had to do something, and they were the only ones there to help, so they did.”

“We’re just proud of our policemen and that they’re ready for just about any situation, including birthing babies,” Mayor Kathryn Thalman said.

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