Wayne Resnick had two hours left in his shift when he found himself on the ride of his life — inside a hospital elevator.
The Nassau County police officer — a Bellmore native and current resident of North Merrick — was escorting an ambulance to South Nassau Communties Hospital in Oceanside at around 5 p.m. on Friday when he spotted a car driving erratically.
“I saw it go through a light and cut the ambulance off,” Resnick said. “So I said, ‘What’s going on?’ and I went around and pulled them over.”
According to Resnick, a man got out of the car, shouting “Baby!” over and over and pointing to the backseat. It didn’t take any detective work for Resnick to evaluate the situation, and within moments he was following a second vehicle to the hospital, lights flashing.
“We were flying,” he said.
Resnick and the couple in the car arrived at South Nassau and, after a quick evaluation by nurses, got into an elevator, headed for the maternity unit, with the mother-to-be seated in a wheelchair.
But, Resnick said, it quickly became apparent that the baby would not wait for the elevator to get there.
The mother “was wearing black leggings, and you could already see that the head was starting to come out,” Resnick recounted, laughing as he tried to accurately — and delicately — describe the scene in the elevator. “We removed the pants, and the baby came out . . . and I was able to secure the baby.”
By the time the elevator reached the correct floor, the veteran police and corrections officer was on his knees in front of the wheelchair, the newborn cradled in his arms and still attached via umbilical cord to the mother — who, Resnick said, was remarkably calm.
“I think by then she was all right,” he said. “She was just happy to have the baby out.”
It felt like forever before the elevator door opened, Resnick said. And even then, the attending nurse had to push it back open after it started to close while she and Resnick shouted for help.
Eventually, with assistance, the group rather awkwardly made their way to the maternity unit. Resnick waddled backward on his knees, the baby still in his arms, and a nurse behind the mother pushed the wheelchair.
“It was a long haul, because I had to kneel down and go backwards, and there wasn’t really any room,” Resnick said.
Still, he added, “You kinda don’t think — you just act, you know?”
It wasn’t until the maternity unit staff took over that the gravity of what had happened hit him. “I washed my hands, and then I started to panic,” he said. “You start getting shaky afterwards. You just do it, but then it’s done and you have time to think about it, and you get a little shaky.”
Resnick exchanged only a few words with the new parents after their shared adventure. He introduced himself, he said, just in case they wanted to use his name for the child.
“I guess they do that sometimes,” said Resnick, who turned 47 on Monday.
Officials from South Nassau confirmed in a release that the baby, whose parents’ names were not released, was doing well.
“We are grateful to the officer for his assistance with this birth,” the officials said. “Clearly, the baby didn’t want to wait!”