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When George McCann and Jean Bernard got the call to respond to an emergency in the Holland Tunnel, they were no doubt prepared to deal with an accident — which is the most common duty of the bridge and tunnel agents of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. They probably were not expecting to help deliver a baby.
But help they did, bringing a new life into the world on the New York side of the Holland Tunnel between New York and New Jersey on Wed., Dec. 26, according to Steve Coleman, a spokesperson for the Port Authority. At about 7 a.m., the couple from Lodi, New Jersey were on their way to a hospital in New York City when Soukaina Nekhlaoui realized she couldn’t make it that far. Her husband, Abdel Elkarhat, pulled to the side of the road and got out to find help.
Enter McCann and Bernard, who have worked at Port Authority for 34 and 29 years, respectively. McCann assisted and then created a ‘makeshift oxygen tent’ around the baby by hanging up a blanket to protect it from the fumes, Coleman said.
‘By the time our police got there, the baby was already out and was in the process of being loaded into an ambulance for the trip to the hospital,’ he said.
They were transported to New York Downtown Hospital. The baby boy was named Nassim Mohammed Elkarhat.