Brunswick Police Officer Martin Davis knew to be ready for anything Monday afternoon just by the nature of the call: childbirth, Sidney Lanier Bridge.
Sure enough, when he and two other Brunswick police officers converged on the vehicle stopped at the northern foot of the Sidney Lanier Bridge, a woman had just given birth in the backseat. At first, the new baby boy appeared to be OK, Davis said. Then, he was not OK.
Davis went to work performing CPR on the newborn to restore his tiny pulse and save his life. County paramedics transferred mother and child to Southeast Georgia Health System’s Brunswick hospital.
“Honestly, it just feels awesome,” Davis said Tuesday. “It’s great that we could be at the right place at the right time with the right training, and have it kick in at the right time to get it done.”
Police received a call at 3:35 p.m. from a man who said his daughter had just given birth in the back seat of a vehicle, according to police. Davis and officers Andrew Blair and Stephen Kretchsmar reached the vehicle at about the same time, Davis said.
“We got the call about a childbirth and, surprisingly enough, they said it was on the bridge,” Davis said. “When we arrived, she had already given birth in the back seat.”
The newborn was breathing when Davis first reached him.
“When I got to him, I could feel a little bit of a heartbeat,” Davis said.
And just like that, Davis found himself in a life-and-death emergency.
“He gave a gasp and then the heartbeat stopped. There was no more pulse. It was a little scary.”
Davis put the baby on his back and lifted his little feet “to get his airway opened up,” he said. He applied a two-finger chest compression, just as he had been trained to perform CPR on babies. Five seconds ... 10 seconds ... 15 seconds ... and then ...
“He took another gasp and I felt the heartbeat come back again,” Davis said.
Davis continued to work on the newborn and monitor him until paramedics arrived. Lights and sirens going, the Brunswick officers then gave the ambulance a police escort to the hospital, 2415 Parkwood Drive.
“We kept him going until the EMTs arrived, then we cleared the way for them all the way to the hospital,” Davis said.
Both the mother and her new baby boy were in stable condition at the hospital Monday evening, police said.
Davis has served with the Brunswick Police Department for 2 1/2 years. He is trained in CPR for all ages.
“That’s the first time I’ve ever used CPR on an infant,” he said.
Just doing his job? Perhaps, but Davis said moments like these are what makes the job worthwhile.
“I have to be honest, I was relieved and surprised,” he said. “I was expecting the worst out of it for a moment. But it was real exciting and joyful to have him come back like that.”