A New Jersey police officer is being called a hero for saving an elderly woman’s life while off-duty at his son’s school for an awards ceremony.
Officer George Noutsopoulos was leaving School 33 in Jersey City on Monday after celebrating his first grade son’s perfect attendance for the marking period when he heard that a boy’s grandmother had collapsed in the hallway and wasn’t breathing, the Jersey Journal reports.
“She was fading,” Noutsopoulos said.
Noutsopoulos, along with the school nurse, administered CPR and applied a defibrillator for several minutes until she regained a pulse and started breathing again.
“Something like this has never happened before,” school principal Frank Piccillo said.
The police department didn’t even know what had happened until Piccillo called West District Police Capt. Michael Kelly.
Noutsopoulos said he wouldn’t have been in the right place at the right time had he not stopped to ask his son to clean his desk. He also said he wouldn’t have been able to save the woman’s life without the help of the school nurse.
“With training and everything, it could be years before really saving somebody’s life could kick in,” he said. “Sometimes you get the chills thinking about it.”
The school presented Noutsopoulos with a certificate of appreciation in a ceremony Wednesday.
Several other police officers have also saved lives while off-duty this month.
An off-duty police officer in Long Island, New York saved the lives of a family of four from a fire and an off-duty state trooper from Kentucky saved a 4-year-old girl’s life by performing CPR earlier this month.