Non-breathing premature baby revived by Oakland police officer

East Bay Times – by Harry Harris

OAKLAND — An Oakland police officer is being credited with saving the life of a baby boy, who he found not breathing after being prematurely born to his homeless mother Tuesday afternoon inside her car, officials said Wednesday,

Officer Gregory Palomo found the baby not breathing and turning blue about 3:22 p.m. Tuesday after police received a 911 call of a woman screaming and crying for medical aid in the street next to a car on Sixth Street near Laney College. It turned out the 22-year-old woman was living out of the car and had just given birth, police said.  

Using techniques learned during his time in the police academy and in department refresher courses, Palomo held the child on his thigh, used his fingers to clear its airway before turning the boy over and giving him gentle hand blows between the baby’s shoulder blades before clearing the airway again with his fingers and then doing the hand blows a second time.

“I got the baby breathing,” Palomo could be heard saying over a police radio transmission.

After Palomo’s heroic efforts, which he said took about 45 seconds, the infant started crying and regained its normal color. He was given to the mother, and both were checked out by paramedics who had arrived before being taken to a hospital where both were recovering Wednesday.

Doctors told Palomo they believed the child was a few weeks premature and was probably a breech birth.

Palomo, 37, the father of a 3-month-old girl and 3-year-old boy  whose births he both witnessed, said  his “training instantly kicked in. I think I was pretty calm. It was pretty fresh in my mind from my own children being born.”

He said it was his first call of the day and he was not nervous but “just determined to get the baby breathing. It feels good. I was thinking positive.” He acknowledged it was an emotional experience. “Anytime somebody’s life is on the line it is emotional.”

Palomo, who graduated from the police academy in May 2016, said it was the first time he has been in such a situation as a police officer and even though what he did was one of his most memorable experiences, he does not consider himself a hero.

“I think any of my (fellow officers) would  have done the same thing. I was just happy to help. I can’t imagine a parent having to lose a child,” he said.

Palomo’s supervisor, Sgt. Ann Pierce, expressed pride for what the officer did. “His training and quick actions saved this newborn’s life,” she said.

Oakland Police Chief Anne E. Kirkpatrick called Palomo a hero, adding, “I am proud of the work my officers do every day. This  is just one example of the extraordinary work that is done.”

2 thoughts on “Non-breathing premature baby revived by Oakland police officer

  1. He’s right. He’s NOT a hero.

    He acted like a human being for 45 seconds and probably for the first time in a very long time.

    The rest of his life and career he has abused the s*** out of the homeless and general populace so it’s going to take a lot more than that to put a human face on these monsters.

  2. Stories like this are attempts at persuading the populace that the cops are good guys, just here to serve and save lives.

    His next move could well be to murder an innocent, of course it would be justified.

    Any opportunity to glorify the violators, they seize upon!

Join the Conversation

Your email address will not be published.