Borough Park

NYC Emergency Management honors volunteers who assisted in October Borough Park building explosion recovery efforts

January 12, 2016 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Front from left: NYPD Capt. Kenneth Quick, volunteers NYC Civil Court Judge Devin Cohen, Levi Leifer, Xuhui Davis Kuang, Peter A. Morici, Joseph Esposito, Shahid Amin, William Vitale, Janet Perry and NYPD Auxiliary Inspector Rose Racouglia. Back from left: Volunteers Israel Rosenthal, Saul Perlstein, Pinchas Ringel, Raymond Lukacs, Ronald J. Dillon and Herman Schaffer. Photo courtesy of New York City Emergency Management
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New York City Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito hosted a recognition ceremony at Maimonides Medical Center in Brooklyn to honor the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) volunteers who assisted the Borough Park community following a building explosion on Oct. 3, 2015. The volunteers represented numerous teams in Brooklyn including Borough Park, Bay Ridge, Park Slope, Midwood and Port Richmond in Staten Island. They provided operational support during the response and recovery phases, and spent weeks assisting at the scene of the building explosion and at the reception center. Their responsibilities included perimeter security, resident escorts and traffic management. 

“We can never overstate the importance of the CERT volunteers who make sacrifices time and again to assist their communities in times of need,” Esposito said. “The volunteers used their training to help the Borough Park community recover from this tragic event, and they continue to exemplify what being a New Yorker is all about, selflessly helping family, neighbors, even strangers, when necessary.” 

“In the face of the awful tragedy that struck our community on Oct. 3, our first-responders showed courage, urgency, professionalism and compassion far beyond the call of duty. Thank you to the FDNY, NYPD, OEM, HPD and DOB for your incredible work,” Councilmember Brad Lander said.   

“On behalf of the residents of Borough Park and Brooklynites everywhere, I thank the CERT volunteers that gave their time and energy — as well as their hearts — to assist the community in the aftermath of October’s tragic building explosion,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said.   

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During the evening’s ceremony, Esposito also thanked the NYPD for its continued commitment to working with CERT volunteers during emergencies. More than 50 Auxiliary Police were honored and special guests included Sgt. Kenny Garcia from the Auxiliary Police Section and representatives from NYPD Patrol Borough Brooklyn South. Garcia presented the police officers with their awards.

The New York City CERT program started in 2003 with 106 volunteers. Today, the city has more than 50 teams and more than 2,000 active volunteers representing all five boroughs. New York City CERT volunteers participate in a 10-week training program in disaster preparedness and basic emergency response skills taught by active and retired members of the Police and Fire Departments. After completing training, CERTs support their local communities by assisting City agencies that prepare for and respond to emergencies. 

New York City Emergency Management will host a CERT graduation ceremony at its headquarters on Jan. 27 for the volunteers who participated in the program’s 25th cycle last fall.   

-Information courtesy of New York City Emergency Management

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