Newborn found on garbage can, with umbilical cord still attached in Chicago

CHICAGO -- A newborn baby with its umbilical cord still attached was left on top of a garbage can in an alley Tuesday afternoon in Chicago's Humboldt Park neighborhood.

Two women were walking near the 1700-block of North Keystone heard the infant's screams and took the child to a nearby firehouse, fire officials said.

Fire officials said the newborn was cold and unresponsive, with no pulse and not breathing when they received him. They used heating pads and warming blankets as soon as they received him. The infant was taken to Norwegian American Hospital in an ambulance with a Chicago police escort, officials said.

Firefighters performed CPR on the infant in the ambulance and helped him breathe with a ventilator, and by the time they arrived at the hospital the infant had some color to him again and was beginning, just barely, to respond.

Fire officials said as of 7 p.m. the newborn's condition was stable, and that the infant was crying and kicking, and was transferred to Lurie Children's Hospital.

Fire officials and paramedics expressed sympathy to the mother, and begged others like her to call on them even in hard circumstances instead of resorting to actions like these.

"But come to us, man. If she had called 911 we could have taken the baby to one hospital and her to another," said Paramedic Field Chief Patrick Fitzmaurice. "We don't judge. Take him to a firehouse. Leave the baby there. Give the kid a chance."

Illinois is a state with a Safe Haven law, meaning anyone can hand over a baby 30 days old or younger that is unharmed to staff at a hospital, police station or fire department with no questions asked.

Chicago Police Area North detectives are investigating.