The job description for Salt Lake City police officers includes crowd control, arresting bad guys, saving lives, protecting the innocent and . . . delivering babies?
That's what officers Mike Evans and Steve Wozab had on their hands about 3:20 a.m. Tuesday.
The duo heard screaming as they responded to the area of 900 East and 400 South, about a mile from Salt Lake Regional Medical Center, thinking they were about to deal with a shooting.
But as Evans approached the bed of a pickup truck, he saw a very worried Feliza Ivanez — halfway through the process of giving birth. Her sister Paula was trying to deliver the baby.
Wozab learned Ivanez was expecting twins. The two officers secured blankets to keep the newborns warm. And Evans radioed for Salt Lake firefighters to get there, and fast.
The cops and women then worked as a team to deliver the two boys. And firefighters arrived in time to cut the umbilical cord that had wrapped around the second baby's neck, Evans said.
Mom and babies were taken to University Hospital and later released.
So, how did they get so close, but remain so far from a hospital?
In a news conference in her hospital room, Spanish-speaking Ivanez explained through an interpreter that she had fallen asleep and awoke in great pain at 2:15 a.m. Fifteen minutes later, Ivanez, her sister and a cousin were headed toward the freeway. But the entrance was closed. They got turned around in the dark and pulled the truck over for Ivanez to give birth.
They knocked on doors in the neighborhood, hoping to find someone to call an ambulance, but no such luck. Finally, at a gas station, they were able to call police.
Tears streamed down Ivanez's cheeks as she spoke of her gratitude to the police officers, Evans and Wozab, who made sure she was OK. She expressed thanks to the nurses at University Hospital as well.
Cameras rolled and reporters gathered around as David, born first at 3:41 a.m. and weighing 5 pounds, 12 ounces, and Daniel, born at 3:43 a.m. and weighing 5 pounds, 1 ounce, lay on pillows next to their mother.
The twins, with full heads of black hair, slept through reporters' questions, awaiting the day their mother could tell them they were born in the back of a truck.