Cop, firefighter help deliver baby

(Original publication: July 29, 2004)

James Leo Messina made an auspicious debut yesterday afternoon when a Lake Carmel firefighter and a Kent detective helped deliver the baby boy on a bathroom floor inside his family's home.

"What a welcome," Gina Cipriano of the Bronx said yesterday before rushing to Putnam Hospital Center to see her sister and James' mother, Jennifer Messina.

Another sister, Maria Connors of Sleepy Hollow, reported that mother and son were doing well, and that father, Jim, was on his way to see his new son.

"Everything is fine," she said.

Of course, everything wasn't fine when Detective Gerald Locascio and Firefighter Cris Dellaripa responded to the Messina home on Noonan Drive around 1 p.m. after police got a 911 call.

Locascio, first on the scene, said Messina was on the floor of a downstairs bathroom and that the baby appeared to be on his way into the world. Messina's mother, Frances Cipriano, was there as well. Jim and Jennifer Messina moved to the house with their 5-year-old daughter, Kaitlin, in May.

Dellaripa was heading home for lunch when he heard the call and went directly to the house.

"We did what we would normally do — we delivered the baby," Dellaripa said.

Now, the president of the Lake Carmel Fire Department, Dellaripa said he has helped delivery babies before, but it's been a while.

Locascio said he coached Messina while Dellaripa helped James Leo into the world. Both men said that helping deliver the boy was the day's highlight.

"It's nice to do something good instead of dealing with all the bad things that happen to people," Locascio said.

"It definitely lightens your day," Dellaripa said. "You have a little more bounce in your step."


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Wednesday, January 5, 2005