APD Officers receive Red Cross Hero Awards

Oct 21, 2013

On September 27, 2013, two members of the Alameda Police Department were recognized by the Red Cross. Officers John Kaanehe and Tom Cobb received the Red Cross Heroes Award for their life saving actions which occurred earlier this year:

In the early morning hours of February 20th, an Alameda resident called 911 to report his wife had just delivered a baby inside their home and the baby was not breathing. Within two minutes of receiving the call, Officer Kaanehe arrived on scene. The father directed Officer Kaanehe to the bathroom where he found both the mother and child laying on the floor. Officer Kaanehe picked up the baby, who was not breathing. Officer Kaanehe, a father of three, who had recently witnessed the birth of his child, instructed the father to find something to suck the liquid out of the child’s mouth. The father searched for a suction device while Officer Kaanehe immediately began first aid. When the father returned with a turkey baster, Officer Kaanehe used it to remove some of the liquid from the child’s mouth. As he continued with the ABC’s of first aid, the Alameda Fire Department arrived on scene and immediately took over for Officer Kaanehe before transporting the child to Children’s Hospital in Oakland. When Officer Kaanehe arrived at the hospital, he was told by the attending physician that other than being a little cold, the baby was healthy and breathing on her own. Officer Kaanehe’s training and life experiences played a critical role in saving the life of this baby.

On the morning of May 28th, APD Dispatch received a 911 call from a daycare provider that a five month-old baby in their care was not breathing. The call was immediately dispatched and within minutes Officer Tom Cobb arrived on scene. The daycare provider stated she attempted CPR, but was unable to resuscitate the baby. Officer Cobb quickly assessed the condition of the unresponsive baby and began administering CPR. The baby was revived and transported to Children’s Hospital by the Alameda Fire Department. As a result of Officer Cobb’s life-saving efforts under the extreme pressure of holding a lifeless baby, it appears the baby will suffer no long term consequences. There was no identifiable reason for the child’s sudden medical condition and there does not appear to be any signs of negligence on behalf of the daycare provider.

All who serve as peace officers receive ample amount of training on many subjects, from laws of arrest to first aid, but it is not until confronted with situations such as these when we realize the value of having well trained emergency personnel. The challenge of holding someone’s life in your hands while knowing the steps you take will determine their fate is an incredible amount of pressure. These life events were significant to all involved. We are very proud of Officer Tom Cobb and Officer John Kaanehe.