The Coast News Group
Oceanside police officers standing in front of a red fire engine holding a newborn baby
Oceanside Police Officers Brett Shields, center left, and Chris Marr, far right, assisted the birth of a baby roadside on Vista Way at Rancho del Oro Drive in Oceanside on Feb. 24. Photo via City of Oceanside Twitter

Baby born roadside a ‘rarity’

OCEANSIDE — A roadside emergency call earlier this week that was originally thought to be a stroke turned out to be the birth of a baby.

It started when dispatchers received a call around 7:30 a.m. on Monday, Feb. 24.

According to Oceanside police spokesman Tom Bussey, the man who called only spoke Spanish. There wasn’t a Spanish-speaking dispatcher available at the time, so a service that helps translates other languages was used.

There was a problem with the connection between the caller, the translation service and dispatchers, Bussey said, so dispatchers sent out two police officers on a Code 3 Response, meaning “use lights and siren.”

“We thought it was a stroke in the beginning,” Bussey said.

When officers Brett Shields and Chris Marr arrived at the scene, they were in for a surprise.

The mother was already in the process of giving birth when the officers arrived. The father, the man who called 911, had pulled over to the side of the road on Vista Way at Rancho del Oro Drive.

The birth took place roadside about a mile and a half from Tri-City Medical Center. It was a “healthy, beautiful baby girl,” Bussey said.

According to Bussey, the officers took the baby and placed her on the mother’s chest where she began to cry. They also wrapped her in gauze.

Paramedics arrived after the baby was fully delivered. They then cut the umbilical cord and took the family to the hospital.

For Oceanside police, delivering a baby roadside is “a rarity.” It once happened to Bussey about 25 years ago, but paramedics arrived before Bussey had to deliver the baby himself.

Bussey said though it is rare, police officers are trained at the police academy and at OPD for this kind of thing.

Bussey said the two officers and the family will probably remember that day forever.

Both Shields and Marr did not respond to The Coast News’ request for comment in time for publication.