Traffic officer Mike turns midwife in M6 emergency
He is used to dealing with roadside emergencies but this was one scenario that did not appear on any training manual.
However traffic officer Mike Fletcher delivered the goods, quite literally, when he was despatched to a car parked on a motorway sliproad - and ended up turning midwife.
The 43-year-old rolled up his sleeves and helped to deliver a bouncing baby boy to the shocked but delighted parents.
The unflappable Highways Agency officer and his colleague Daryl Corbett were halfway through their night shift when they took the call from their regional control centre sending them to a woman reportedly in labour at junction 12 of the M6, between Cannock and Penkridge.
While Daryl put up signs and cones to protect the car, Mike approached the frantic father-to-be who told him his wife was having a baby on the back seat.
Mike, based at the Hilton Park service station, said: "We weren't expecting things to be so far advanced. I'd never come across anything like that in my life. I don't have children of my own so I was trying to remember everything I'd ever seen on Casualty.
"I asked how far apart the contractions were - which meant nothing to me but I hoped it would reassure dad - then mum was shouting that it was coming and when I looked down sure enough there was the head."
Mike crouched down and supported the baby as he came out and cleared the infant's airway.
"Fortunately he took a big gasp of air and started crying," he said. "We wrapped him in a blanket and as soon as the ambulance crew arrived we handed him over and went on our way."
Mike, of Parkside, Stafford, was doing a rare overtime shift when the alert was raised.
And despite his lack of medical know-how, he was pleased with how he coped.
"It was just magic. I was in shock for quite a while but then I felt very honoured to have been able to help. Not many people will get to experience that. We did have to go for a strong coffee afterwards though."
The pair, who have been traffic officers for 10 years, were praised by their boss.
John McTaggart, head of on-road services, said: "Our traffic officers are well versed in helping the public, whether it be after a breakdown, flat tyre or a collision. They are trained to be calm in a crisis and Mike and Daryl did an excellent job for the family. In every sense of the word, we deliver."
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