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Encounter

When a Brooklyn woman went into labor in the back of a cab, firefighter Severino Genovese got the call. Mid-delivery, the baby was in danger.

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Illustration by Nathan Fox  

“We got there and the rear door was open. She was sitting there with her dress on but kind of hiked up a little. Her hands were cradling the baby’s head. I didn’t expect to see that. I was like, okay, it’s not a matter of putting it back in. Her husband was there, he was holding her hands which were holding the baby’s head. I noticed that oh my God, the umbilical cord is around his neck, so I took my two pinkies and hooked them around the cord, and luckily there was room. So I kind of slipped it over his head. The mother goes, ‘How come he’s not crying?’ I was like, ‘We didn’t smack him on the ass yet.’ Ha ha. You can’t say that, so I was like, ‘Give him time, he was just born, he was kind of looking around, he’s breathing, he’s obviously observing.’ It couldn’t be any easier.”

As told to Jessica Pressler

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