It’s usually something you only see on a prime-time cop drama.
For Las Vegas police officer Jesus Jimenez, it became a reality when he successfully delivered a baby in the back seat of a car in east Las Vegas Monday.
“In my police career, it’s the best thing that’s happened to me,” Jimenez said Tuesday.
The call came in about 9:40 a.m. that a woman was in labor at an apartment complex in the 5200 block of East Charleston Boulevard. Dispatchers were having a difficult time contacting the fire department, so Jimenez, who was in the area for a separate call, hurried over.
Jimenez, a five-year veteran of the Metropolitan Police Department, arrived about two minutes later and found a small family in the complex’s parking lot surrounding a young woman in advanced labor.
“I looked around, and I had to make a decision because she looked like she was in severe pain,” Jimenez said.
He had two choices. The grass. Or the car.
Jimenez and the woman’s son helped clear out the back seat of the car, and situated everything.
And just in time.
Just after laying the laboring woman in the back seat, the baby started to make her way out.
“She took a breath, and the baby went back in,” Jimenez said. “She took another breath, and the baby came out.”
The officer wrapped the newborn girl in a towel that the grandmother had given him, and the baby began to cry that familiar newborn wail.
But Jimenez, a father of two daughters, noticed that all was not right. The mother was fine, and the baby was crying, but the newborn’s head was pinned to her chest. He removed the towel and noticed umbilical cord was wrapped around the girl’s neck.
He quickly — but carefully — removed the tangled cord, and waited for responding medical personnel to take the mother and newborn daughter to Sunrise Hospital.
“We always see that on TV,” said Capt. Richard Fletcher, Jimenez’s supervisor at Northeast Area Command, “but to actually have it happen … I think it’s pretty cool.”
Jimenez wanted to go with the family to the hospital to keep an eye on them and make sure everyone was healthy. But instead, he had to finish the remainder of his shift.
“I got choked up. It was real special,” Jimenez said. “I had a little bit of trouble concentrating the rest of the day.”
Fletcher, who has been with the department for two decades, said that Jimenez was so calm during the entire situation that he’s considering using the dispatch call for future training.
“That’s not the normal part of police work. But that’s why we become cops,” he said. “You just never know what your day’s gonna be like.”
But Fletcher has come to expect these kind of things of the young officer, who was the area command’s latest employee of the quarter.
“Who else could have been there and been so successful?” Fletcher said. “I’m very, very proud of him.”
Contact reporter Colton Lochhead at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.