Author: PoliceOne Sponsors
By Ellen Yan Newsday
LONG ISLAND, N.Y. — After 33 years on the job, highway patrol Sgt. Pete Scheuerer still delivers.
The Suffolk officer was cruising the eastbound Long Island Expressway on HOV duty, when he heard over the radio that a baby was being born on the side of the road, just one exit away at Exit 51 in Dix Hills. “The head’s out,” the expectant father had told 911 shortly after 5:35 p.m. Tuesday.
Thirty seconds and a mile later, Scheuerer’s vehicle, with lights and sirens wailing, pulled over on the expressway, across from a Hauppauge couple in a Honda minivan in the westbound HOV lane.
There was a concrete median barrier between them. As he hopped out of his car, the sergeant questioned for a moment whether he was up to the job physically.
“I had to jump over this cement wall — it’s only about 4 feet tall — but as I went to jump over, I’m like ‘Geez, I hope I make it and not fall and break a bone,’ ” the highway sergeant said.
At age 54, Scheuerer still had it.
“As I hopped over the wall, I could see the baby was out,” he said.
The mother was in the front seat, the father was wedged on the floor in front of her and a tiny figure, swaddled in the shirt off her father’s back, was cradled in his hands, the officer said. A 911 dispatcher, Jon Hallock, had coached the couple on what to do, Suffolk police said.
The girl, Charlotte, is the second child for Janine Presley-Livote, 30, and her husband, Edward Livote, 33.
Four days behind schedule already, the little one had apparently balked at crossing the county line to get to NYU Winthrop Hospital in Mineola.
“I said ‘I don’t think you’re going to make it,’ ” to Mineola, Scheuerer recalled telling the mother. “She started to laugh. . . . I’ve never seen a mother like this. She was really controlled, calm, talking to me.”
Scheuerer had helped deliver a baby twice during his stint as an NYPD officer, and in this third delivery, he could see the newborn was laboring a little taking her first breaths.
“We gotta flip the baby on its stomach,” he told the father. “Any fluids in the mouth would drip down the throat and it’s like you’re gagging on it.”
Together, the men placed the girl on her mother’s stomach, but the father was too nervous to clear the mucous by sweeping the newborn’s mouth with his finger, the sergeant said.
“You do it,” Scheuerer said the mother told him. The sergeant dislodged a little clot.
As Livote started to take the shoestring off his shoe to tie off the umbilical cord, highway Officer Brian Baumeister rushed over with his medical bag. They used the string from a surgical mask to tie off the umbilical cord.
A Dix Hills Fire Department ambulance took Charlotte and her mom to Huntington Hospital, where they were in stable condition Tuesday night, police said.
As for Scheuerer, he said he tells people that it’s not just skill but luck that delivers a job well done: “Half this job is being in the right place at the right time.”