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PCSOs assist in unexpected baby delivery at a launderette

Two Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) in Derbyshire had an unforgettable experience when they were called upon to assist in an unexpected birth at a local launderette.

 

PCSOs Jo Turner and Amanda Bardsley were in transit from Glossop to New Mills when they were flagged down to help a woman in labour, marking an extraordinary day where police help deliver a baby.

A Surprise Birth in the Launderette

Francesca Ribenfors, who was only 30 weeks into her pregnancy, went into early labour while at the Spring Clean launderette in Glossop.

One of the customers in the launderette happened to be a nurse, who also had a friend who was a midwife. While PCSO Turner went to collect the midwife, PCSO Bardsley stayed with Francesca, offering much-needed support.

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Francesca recounts her experience:

“I was getting a duvet dry cleaned when I started getting pains. I called my partner David (Berry) and then an ambulance while waiting for him.”

When David arrived, he found Francesca still on the phone with the ambulance service who asked if he could see the baby.

“I hadn’t realised it was that serious,” Francesca said. She described how she went outside for some fresh air, then returned inside and gave birth quickly to a baby boy who arrived breech, feet first.

The Immediate Aftermath

The intense situation didn’t end with the birth. The baby, who was ten weeks premature, momentarily stopped breathing and required rescue breaths from the neonatal nurse who had just arrived. After this initial scare, the baby was fine, but needed extended hospital time due to his early arrival.

For PCSO Turner, a new recruit at the force, this was an unexpected and memorable incident. “It was a real baptism of fire,” she said. “It just proved to me what a varied job being a PCSO is as you never know what you’ll stumble upon.”

The Baby’s Journey

The baby, named Samuel, weighed just 3lbs 7oz when he was born on December 23, 2022. Now five months old, he is thriving at home with his parents and big brother Joseph, blissfully unaware of his dramatic entry into the world.

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Francesca reflects on the unique circumstances of Samuel’s birth: “Given that everything is fine now, it’s quite amazing and incredible how it’s turned out.

“It wasn’t a terrible experience because of everyone around helping.

“We’re just really grateful for everyone who was there and helped out. It’s a funny kind of story to be able to tell him and for him to tell people when he’s older.”

PCSOs’ Continued Connection

The PCSOs involved in Samuel’s birth have formed a lasting bond with the family. The officers even visited the following day to check on the mother and baby’s progress. This event has left a lasting impression on the officers, with PCSO Turner stating, “He feels quite special to us now. I should think that it’ll be a yearly thing now, we’ll probably drop him a birthday card off now every year for the rest of his life.”

This touching story of how two PCSOs helped deliver a baby illustrates the unexpected and extraordinary situations that police officers sometimes find themselves in. It’s a testament to the variety and unpredictability of their roles, and a heartwarming example of community support in action.

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