Two Toronto police officers helped a mother deliver her baby in a taxi backseat in the early morning hours of March 4.
Around 1.20 a.m., front desk officer Constable Colin McLaughlin received a phone call from paramedics saying that a Beck Taxi would be stopping at 55 Division with a woman in labour.
The taxi was on its way to Michael Garron Hospital (formerly Toronto East General Hospital) on Coxwell Ave. when it was forced to change course.
“It stopped at the corner of Dundas St. and Coxwell Ave. and me and Colin ran out,” said Staff Sergeant Kim O’Toole. “Mom was lying on the backseat in obvious distress and in need of immediate assistance.”
Realizing that the baby’s head was pushing out, O’Toole stood close to the mother’s head and provided her with some coaching, instructions and comfort.
“A short while later, the baby was born and Colin was there at the other end to receive it,” said O’Toole. “We swaddled the baby in a sweatshirt that the mother had in the taxi. We noticed that it wasn’t crying right away, but Colin was able to get the baby to cry and make sure it was breathing.”
Paramedics soon arrived and took control of the situation.
“The ordeal took about five minutes and we were glad that we could be of some assistance,” noted O’Toole. “This was the first time I was involved in something like this in my 22 years with the Service.”
O’Toole said she learnt from other officers who went to the hospital that both the mother and baby are doing fine.
“That’s the only update we have,” she added.
O’Toole said the taxi driver was advised to bring his cab to the station after he called 9-1-1 and told them he was not going to make it to the hospital in time.
For McLaughlin, in his 26th year with Toronto Police, this was the second occasion he helped deliver a baby.
A few years ago, while on his way home, he responded to a similar call for assistance.
“He got in his car, pulled up at the Michael Garron Hospital and was able to assist paramedics and calm the father down while the mother had the baby in the car outside the hospital,” O’Toole said.