A local police officer is being praised for going above and beyond the call of duty.

Argentine Township Officer Paul Honkanen had no idea he was about to do something he'd never done in his 20-plus years - deliver a baby.

Then-pregnant Jennifer Hilla had gone to her mom's house in Byron on July 17.

She said it was about two weeks before her due date and she began having contractions, but they were really far apart at first.

"I just didn't know it was actually gonna happen that day. I mean, because I've had contractions before, but then it really started happening,” Hilla said.

Her sister called 911, but because first responders were dispatched to Gaines Township instead of Byron, the ambulance got lost.

Officer Honkanen did, too, but he was quickly able to find the correct house and get there first.

When he pulled in, Hilla was on her front lawn and he soon realized this wasn't going to be a “wait-until-the-ambulance-gets-there" scenario.

"She was determined she was going to have the baby. She said, 'I'm having this baby, I'm having this baby.' We developed a tight bond and it felt good being able to support her and walk her through the steps,” Honkanen said.

At 8:54 p.m., baby Scarlett was born on the front lawn.

Right after the mother and baby were discharged from the hospital, they made sure to pay a visit to the man who helped bring her into the world.

As you can imagine, Honkanen said it was an incredibly rewarding experience.

Copyright 2018 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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