The baby doll was left in a child's carseat by its 2-year-old owner and prompted some neighbors to call 911 for a welfare check.
The vehicle, owned by the child's grandmother, Kitty Mieles, was being used by Mieles' brother.
A member of the Volunteer Ambulance Corp. decided the doll looked life-like enough that they broke the driver's side window to save the baby.
"When he came out, there were the cops and the ambulance and they broke the window thinking that there was a baby in there, but it wasn't a baby, it was a doll," Mieles told WABC-TV, New York.
"I saw pictures of the doll and it looked real. I got 34 years' experience in EMS and I probably would have broken the window too," said Thomas Molta, president of Hoboken Volunteer Ambulance Corp.
Mieles filed a claim to have the window replaced.
"Seconds are paramount there, that's the difference between a baby breathing, not breathing, pulse, no pulse," Molta said. "You can replace a window, but you can't replace a life."