Thursday, December 18, 2014

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NYer of the Week: Four First Responders Jumped Into Action to Save Two Fellow City Residents

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Each of this week's New Yorkers are used to saving lives - it's in their job descriptions - but four first responders went above and beyond when they jumped into action to rescue two fellow New Yorkers. NY1's John Schiumo filed the following report, which was shot, written and edited by Rachel Smith.

Shaun Alexander and Khadijah Hall were running errands for a co-worker's retirement party when shots rang out in the Crown Heights section of Brooklyn. They were off duty, but the veteran EMTs jumped into action.

"After the gunfire stopped, my friend here, Shaun, she said to me, 'I can't believe this. You have any gloves?' I said, 'Yeah, I have a tech bag in my trunk,'" Hall said.

It turns out that Alexander and Hall were rushing to provide medical assistance to a police officer. Rookie officer James Li had just been shot multiple times on Empire Boulevard.

Their quick response made a difference.

"Yeah, we do this every day, so it's like second nature," Alexander said.

A few days later, quick thinking saved another life in a different borough. On patrol on Manhattan's Upper East Side, police officers David Roussine and Michael Konatsotis heard a call for an unresponsive infant nearby.

"We knew. We just took off. Not even a second to think about it," Roussine said.

They arrived before an ambulance and made a split-second decision to give CPR to the baby as they drove to the hospital.

"I took the baby in the front seat. Dave got behind that wheel and with the parents and all in tow, and we boogied to New York Hospital, Cornell Hospital," Konatsotis said. "When we pulled up, that baby took a little belch there, and I said, 'My God, that beautiful little bundle of joy is, she's OK.'"

For their efforts, the mayor honored both officers at City Hall this week. But for all the praise, the officers and EMTs say they were just doing their jobs and would do the same thing any day, anywhere, on duty or off.

"We're not the only one that does this, and there's a lot of us out there that doesn't get the recognition every day 'cause it's our job, so I'm happy that they took notice of this," Alexander said.

NY1 is taking notice, too, and that's why Khadijah Hall, Shaun Alexander, Michael Konatsotis and David Roussine are our New Yorkers of the Week.

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