Published December 18, 2017
On the morning of Dec. 8, University Police Lt. Kevin Will was in his patrol car, inching forward through the heavy snowfall that had slowed traffic to a crawl on Main Street, across from UB’s South Campus.
“It was around 9 a.m., and the weather conditions were horrible,” Will recalls. “The snow was piling up and had pretty much gridlocked traffic in both directions when I was flagged down on Main Street and Main Circle in the area of Wendy’s restaurant.
“The gentleman in the car in front of me came rushing back, and began banging on my side window. He was in a bit of a panic.”
The other driver told Will that he needed help.
“He told me his wife was going into labor, and he had to get her to a hospital,” Will says.
“So I immediately offered to assist. I called dispatch, explained the situation, telling them we needed an ambulance.”
Will walked over to the car in front of his and began talking with the young couple, telling them an ambulance was on the way.
“It was still rush hour and the snow had slowed traffic to a standstill,” Will says. “They were in a panic, and I wanted to help them calm down.”
Will continued talking with the couple, but as the minutes went by, his thoughts moved in a different direction.
“You couldn’t see or hear an ambulance, and with conditions so bad that morning, I realized what should have normally taken 10 minutes could very easily take an hour,” he recalls. “I reassured the couple that we were going to the hospital, and for them to follow me.”
Will made his way west, leading the other car along Main Street, moving forward with the clock.
“The snow made streets difficult to maneuver and Sisters Hospital was closest to us, so I felt that was the best choice,” Will says.
“We made it there just in time. I was later told that the couple were the parents of a baby boy, their first child.”
An active-duty volunteer firefighter for 30 years, Will has also been with University Police for 17 years.
Will says there are little things that you bring from one job to the other that give you a bit of an advantage in situations such as car accidents or fires, where additional knowledge and experience may allow you to save a life.
“However, that morning was the first time I encountered a situation on the job that resulted in helping to bring in a new life,” he says. “The conditions were not exactly ideal, but they turned out well for everyone.”