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Two York Area Regional cops honored for emergency baby delivery

Liz Evans Scolforo
York Dispatch
York Area Regional Police Cpl. Stephanie Phillips (left) and Officer Brandy Goodling (right) pose with mother-of-two Casey Poppenwimer and her baby, Zoey Grace. Phillips delivered the baby and Goodling drove the ambulance that took the newborn to York Hospital.

It took two York Area Regional police officers to deliver baby Zoey Grace — one to usher her into the world in her parents' Windsor Township home, the other to rush her to the hospital afterward.

Those officers, Cpl. Stephanie Phillips and Officer Brandy Goodling, have now been honored by their department for their actions with chief's commendations, according to York Area Regional Police.

"When they arrived they found the mother in distress and the baby was not waiting for the ambulance or the hospital," police wrote in a Facebook post.

In addition to their chief's commendation awards, the officers each received a uniform ribbon to wear that identifies their "service to the family," according to the post.

"Mom and baby Zoey are happy, healthy and strong," police wrote.

Read The York Dispatch's full report on the special delivery here:

More:York Area Regional corporal delivered baby girl, 2nd officer drove her to the hospital

Casey Popplenwimer, mother of Zoey Grace, praised the officers when she spoke with The York Dispatch last month.

Zoey Grace wasn't waiting for parents Casey and Grant Poppenwimer to get to a local hospital, police said. Instead, she came into the world in her family's Windsor Twp. home on April 20, 2021, with the help of York Area Regional Police Cpl. Stephanie Phillips and Officer Brandy Goodling.

"They were amazing, and I just can't thank them enough," the 34-year-old registered nurse has said.

The background: Phillips told The York Dispatch she was dispatched to the family's Windsor Township home about 4 a.m. April 20, arrived one minute later and found Poppenwimer in the bathroom, with Zoey Grace's head already crowning.

Phillips said she never imagined delivering the baby would fall on her shoulders and said she'd never been on that end of a delivery before.

The corporal put on gloves and started to coach Poppenwimer on her breathing, but it was all over in a minute or two, she said.

Neither woman panicked, they said.

Phillips — who like Poppenwimer is the mother of two children — realized the umbilical cord was wrapped twice around the baby's head. She unwrapped it and did what she's been trained to do as an officer to get the newborn breathing, she said.

"I rubbed her back and swept her mouth out, and she began to cry," Phillips said, adding she also flicked the bottom of the baby's feet to stimulate her.

York Area Regional Cpl. Stephanie Phillips (left) and Officer Brandy Goodling (right) received chief's commendations for their efforts to deliver a baby and get her to the hospital on April 20, 2021.

That's about the time when York Area Regional Officer Goodling arrived, and she too helped keep Zoey Grace warm and breathing until two ambulance crews arrived, Phillips said.

Officer drove ambulance: Emergency medical technicians took over at the scene, giving Zoey Grace oxygen and keeping her warm, according to the corporal.

Those EMTs asked whether one of the officers could drive the ambulance so the EMTs could focus on caring for the baby.

Goodling got behind the wheel of one of the two York Regional Emergency Medical Services ambulances that responded and took off for York Hospital, Phillips said, while the second ambulance transported Poppenwimer there.

"Both officers did an excellent job," York Area Regional Police Chief Tim Damon has said. "I am extremely proud of how they handled themselves and the situation."

— Reach senior crime reporter Liz Evans Scolforo at levans@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.