SF Cops Hailed as Heroes For Saving Newborn

Both officers are parents of young children

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Officers Matt Cloud and Steve Gritsch are the real deal. They saw a newborn baby on the verge of death and made a split decision that saved the boy's life. (Published Monday, Dec 17, 2012)

    Two San Francisco police officers told a harrowing story of bringing a newborn baby back to life last week after he was abandoned by his mother moments after  birth.

    The two have been partners for two years so they spoke each other's language and that helped them make quick decisions that literally saved the child's life.   

    Officers Matt Cloud and Steve Gritsch are "absolutely genuine  heroes" for their quick actions early last Wednesday, police Chief Greg Suhr said.

    The officers retold the story of what happened during a raining overnight shift on Monday.

    They said they responded to a request for a welfare check at Third Street and McKinnon  Avenue overnight Wednesday. Upon arrival they found a man holding a bloody baby wrapped in a sweatshirt.   

    The baby boy appeared to have been born just about 30 minutes earlier and was blue and not breathing, Gritsch said.

    Gritsch took the baby to a Muni platform right away. Cloud said he knew immediately that he was doing that to start CPR. Cloud said he knew they could get the baby to the hospital faster if they drove themselves so he went for their patrol car..

    He said he yelled along the way, "Do you want to take him?" He said Gritsch's response was not "PC," but something that meant, "Yes. Let's go" (but included a curse word).

     As Cloud drove, Gritsch --  who previously worked as an emergency medical technician in the North Bay --  performed CPR on the baby in the back seat. Gritsch said they did some sliding on the wet roads, but got there safely.

    After arriving at the hospital, the young boy was revived and is expected to survive, although he remains at San Francisco General Hospital  today.

    Gritsch described his state of mind as "abject panic" as they  drove to the hospital and said he did not think the boy was going to make it.

    Cloud said he could hear his partner "crying and talking to the  baby, just telling the baby to come back and breathe ... that's something  that I'll never forget."

    The officers and other members of the Police Department's Bayview  Station plan on gathering gifts for the boy "to give him some kind of  Christmas," Cloud said.

    Suhr and other officials, including Supervisor Malia Cohen, were  on hand at today's event to praise the officers.

    Following last Friday's shooting of more than two dozen students and staff at an elementary school in Connecticut, Cohen said, "It's very  comforting to know that we've got first responders that are trained, that are  smart, that are capable, and that are putting their lives on the line every  day."

    As for the boy's mother, 39-year-old Nneka Nash, she was found shortly afterward by other officers and was also taken to the hospital.  

    Nash has since been charged with felony willful cruelty to a child and misdemeanor failure to provide care to a child. She is expected to be arraigned on the charges Tuesday morning.
       

    Bay City News contributed to this report.