Saving babies, stopping a terrorist — all in day’s work.
That’s case for dozens of NYPD officers honored for heroics at a luncheon Thursday.
Officers Daniel Velasquez and John Williams went through the police academy together in 2014, and stood shoulder to shoulder as they faced a life or death moment at the Times Square subway station last November.
A frantic couple rushed up to them because their 11-month-old girl, Natalia had a fever so high, that she suffered a seizure and stopped breathing.
Velasquez grabbed the girl and started chest compressions, Williams, who has formal emergency medical training, arrived moments later and took over. Working together, the cops made sure Natalia saw her first birthday a few weeks later.
“It’s a good feeling,” Velasquez said. “She’s 11 months old. She has her whole life ahead of her.”
Natalia’s parents, tourists from Ecuador, were over the moon with joy and gratitude.
Williams said it was simply a matter of cops doing what they were supposed to.
“I don’t feel like I’m a hero,” he said. “This is part of our job. It’s what we’re trained to do.”
The officers were among 46 officers and 7 sergeants — including cops involved in police shootings and four who stepped into the path of an ISIS loving jihadi on the West Side Highway — honored by the Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association’s “Finest of the Finest” lunch on Thursday.
PBA President Pat Lynch refused to downplay any of the heroics, urging family members to ignore any suggestion by the honorees that “it’s not all that important.”
“Put [that plaque] up on the wall,” he said. “And put it in a place of prominence.”
Officer, Matthew McGrath of Manhattan’s 13th Precinct, last May saved the life of a choking two-year-old boy by rushing him to Bellevue Hospital.
A baby wipe was found lodged in the toddler’s throat and his nanny was charged with attempted murder.
McGrath, a four-year veteran, said that while the honor is nice, his real reward was that the boy survived.
“The baby is doing very well and has no problems,” McGrath. “I’ve met the parents. They just thanked me for everything I did and that I was able to get there quickly.”
The PBA also honored officers Ryan Nash, Michael Welsome, John Hasiotis and Kevin McGinn for their quick actions last Halloween, when accused terrorist Sayfullo Saipov barreled down the West Side Highway bike path, killing eight Argentine tourists.
Nash, who shot and wounded Saipov, said he “was just trying to do his job.” Welsome, who helped secure the suspect’s two guns, said the experience still seems surreal, even all these months later.