A Massachusetts police department is praising one of their officers for his heroic actions after he helped a pregnant woman welcome her baby into the world.
Officer Zach Hall was working a shift on New Year's Day when he responded to a call around 2:45 a.m. for a woman actively in labor, according to a Facebook post from the Agawam Police Department in Feeding Hills.
After arriving at the scene, Hall successfully helped the woman deliver her "healthy baby girl," who was named Sophia, the APD wrote in the congratulatory post alongside a photo of Hall holding the newborn.
"He was literally beaming! It was good to see! It's a nice change-a happy call instead of the usual stuff!!" the police department wrote in the post. "We're all proud of him!"
Speaking to PEOPLE after the exciting encounter, Hall, 34, says the moment was surreal and was "unlike anything I've ever felt."
"I was there to help bring a new life brought into this world, all while trying to remain calm for the nervous parents," he recalls. "I feel proud and lucky that I had the opportunity to help this family and their beautiful new baby. It’s not something many police officers witness."
When he first arrived at the couple's home, Hall says he wasn’t nervous because he didn't know how far along the mother was in her labor, but soon realized things were progressing very quickly.
"It was when I saw the baby’s father running out of the house that I realized the mother was about to give birth at any moment. I just ran into the house ready to help," he explains. "As a cop, you don’t really have the time to focus on nerves or emotions. We just do what we are trained to do."
His wife Melissa, who is also a police officer, tells PEOPLE it wasn't surprising to hear how her husband stepped in to help during the couple's time of need.
"We go through first responder training that helps us in such a situation, but we never really expect to be a part of such a special moment," she says. "I am so proud of him and everything he does for the community every da y… I know he truly loves being able to help others."
"Anyone can clearly see how he’s beaming with pride in that photo, as he should be," she adds of the image posted by the APD. "He didn’t hesitate to help those parents or their newborn baby and helped bring a new life into this world. What a way to ring in the new year!"
As Hall reflects on the happy moment, he says he hopes the story will uplift people and prove that not all cops are bad.
"There are good and bad people in this society that we, as police, interact with every single day — just as there are good and bad police officers that the public interacts with every single day," he says. "It’s so nice to get positive feedback from the community, especially during a time when most of what the world seems to focus on lately is only the negative."
"At the end of the day, all cops want to do is help make their communities a little bit better for future generations," he continues. "As nice as it is for everyone to acknowledge my actions, it should also be acknowledged the bravery of the parents in such a crazy situation. We were all in it together, and I couldn’t be happier for them."
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