By all accounts, Pittsburgh K-9 Officer Lucas Coyne saved the life of a 3-month-old baby by performing CPR at a Hill District home this month.
But he’s quick to tell you he was just doing his job.
“I just did what I was trained to do,” he said. “I didn’t think about what I was doing. I just did it.”
On Tuesday afternoon, the officer received a commendation from the city for his lifesaving efforts.
“You took command of the situation. You used your training, and because of that, this young child will now be able to live,” Mayor Bill Peduto told Officer Coyne. “That’s why many people decide they want to be an officer.”
Acting Public Safety Director Stephen Bucar said officers go to work every day with the public’s safety in mind, but it’s not often they’re called upon to save a life as Officer Coyne was.
“These are the kind of moments police officers do the job for, when they see the fruits of their labor,” he said.
Zone 2 Lt. Matthew Lackner, Officer Coyne’s supervisor, said he is hard-working and dedicated.
“We have a great shift. Officer Coyne is part of that greatness,” Lt. Lackner said of the officers who work 4 p.m. to midnight in Downtown, Lawrenceville and the Hill District.
Officer Coyne, 31, of Pittsburgh joined the city police force in July 2007 and also has worked in Zone 1 on the North Side.
When Officer Coyne arrived at the apartment in the 2400 block of Bedford Avenue on July 10, he said the infant was unresponsive.
He relieved a Housing Authority security officer who was performing CPR and cradled the infant in his arms, he said. When the fire company arrived, Officer Coyne said he carried him outside and 10 to 15 seconds later, medics arrived and took over.
The infant was taken to Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, where he regained a heartbeat, public safety spokeswoman Sonya Toler said at the time of the incident.
As of Tuesday night, the boy was still at the Lawrenceville hospital, listed in critical condition, she said.
The baby's mother told police she left the napping infant with a relative for a few moments, and when she returned, the child was unresponsive, Ms. Toler said.
No charges have been filed, but the case remains open, she said.
Lexi Belculfine: firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-263-1878. Twitter: @LexiBelc.