When the 911 call came over the radio saying a woman was in labor, Jon-Erik Negron couldn’t believe what he was hearing.
In the past year, Negron, a five-year veteran of the Suffolk County Police Department, had already been on hand for the birth of two babies — more than most officers experience throughout their entire career.
“The radio call comes over, and you’re like, this can’t really be happening again,” Negron said.
Negron was the first officer to arrive at the scene around 2:30 a.m. Thursday. But to his relief, he said he soon saw flashing lights approaching the Terryville home. Within minutes, he was joined by fellow Officers Brian Cann and Karl Allison and Terryville Fire Department ambulance crew Kevin Bader, Gina Brett and Christopher Myers.
As soon as he walked into the bedroom, where mom-to-be Keri Fort lay on her bed, Bader said he saw that the baby was already crowning. Forget going to the hospital: This baby was being born right now.
The event was “pretty exciting,” Bader said at a news conference Thursday, noting the baby’s grandparents cheered on the birthing mother, coaching her from the living room.
At 2:44 a.m., Fort gave birth to a healthy girl weighing 5 pounds, 8 ounces and measuring 19¾ inches, officials said. She was taken to St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson in good condition.
Surprised the parents chose not to know the gender of the baby, Bader played a special role in the early-morning event.
“That was kind of cool for me, I got to tell them if it was a boy or girl,” Bader said.
While Thursday’s delivery was relatively uncomplicated, the previous times Negron helped bring babies into the world were very different.
Last August, the officer arrived at a Mount Sinai home to find a newborn having trouble breathing. With a household syringe, Negron cleared the airways of the baby, saving his life. Months later the parents, Mike and Jane Pappalardo, honored Negron by naming him the godfather of their son Bryce.
And last December, Negron was one of two officers who helped deliver a baby girl on the side of a road in Centereach.
“Out of the three this one was by far the easiest,” Negron said of Thursday’s birth.
During the news conference Thursday afternoon, Negron recognized his colleagues, saying Fort had been in good hands.
And he reflected on the incredible coincidence that had allowed him to be on hand for three births in his career.
“As people have told me, this isn’t the norm,” he said. “You can go a career without having one, but three in a few years — or even one year — is pretty crazy.”