FIREARMS officers have been hailed heroes after helping a woman who went into labour while stuck in traffic on a major road.

Metha Ramanan was travelling with her husband Nava, along the A13 in Stanford-le-Hope, heading towards Basildon when they called for help.

With the mum going into labour, and time running out to get to the hospital, officers from the firearms unit did not hesitate to offer support.

The firearms officers were the closest units and came to save the mum-to-be before driving her to Basildon Hospital.

Mertha was close to giving birth next to her husband when the support arrived, quickly putting Mertha into the back of the armed response vehicle and rushing to the hospital, with Nava driving to hospital in his car.

Baby Abiman was safely delivered, weighing 7.2 pounds.

Yesterday, the family, including little Abiman visited police headquarters to say thank you and meet chief inspector Matt Cornish and deputy chief constable Pippa Mills.

Abiman also received a cuddly toy of Police Dog Baloo, named after a retired police dog who sadly lost one of her legs during an emergency.

Father-of-two Nava said: “My family and I can’t thank the firearms unit enough for their help at the weekend.

“Our sweet baby boy Abiman was delivered within couple of hours of the lift they kindly provided. The officers were shining examples, keep up the good work in making Essex safe.

“I’d like to end by saying thank you everyone for their kind words.”

Richard Melton, Chief Inspector of the Armed Policing Team, said: “When people think of firearms officers, they associate them with significant incidents in our county.

“Yesterday, they were the quickest to respond to the calls for help of a woman in the very advanced stages of labour and a husband who was stuck in traffic.

“The woman was then rushed to hospital in one of our armed response vehicles in the nick of time.

“She was left in the care of the hospital and I am happy everything went well for her and her husband.”