Officers David Roussine, left, and Michael Konatsotis stand with Mayor Bill de Blasio as the two men were honored by the city on Monday. Credit Rob Bennett/NYC Mayor's Office
Mayor Bill de Blasio honored two NYPD officers who saved a baby on Saturday while on patrol in Manhattan.
The officers responded to an emergency call from the panicked parents of 15-month-old Norah Schechter after she stopped breathing in their Upper East Side apartment.
De Blasio — who exchanged handshakes, hugs and laughs with officers Michael Konatsotis and David Roussine — called them epitomes of public servants who serve as examples of the NYPD's readiness in extraordinary circumstances.
"When they got that dispatch call, it didn’t matter if they came from different time frames – in terms of their time of service – it didn’t matter that they were fairly new partners, it didn’t matter that they were in a precinct they weren’t used to," de Blasio said. "They answered that call urgently and immediately."
Roussine, 25, joined the force 18 months ago. Konatsotis, 45, is a 16-year veteran of the NYPD and has three kids of his own.
Konatsotis told reporters that they hadn't exchanged too many words with he family, but he did give his collar brass — the precinct number that officers wear on their uniform shirt collar — to the parents for Norah whenever she's older.
"You know, everybody’s calling our actions heroic, and me and Mike realized that we were just in the right place at the right time that day," the junior officer said.
The room broke into laughs when Konatsotis recalled the saving breath he had given the baby moments before pulling into the hospital.
"As soon as I gave the last rescue breath, the baby burped," Konatsotis said. "And it was the greatest sound, you know, that I’d heard. And I know my wife doesn’t, but when I burp but– I’m sorry, Mr. Mayor, I’m sorry. But, you know, it was the greatest sound."