New York, NY November 22, 2011 – As the City of New York braced itself for Hurricane Irene on August 28, 2011, New York City’s EMS units were committed to maintaining coverage and participated in a massive evacuation effort in advance of a potentially deadly storm. The New York Police Department (NYPD) and the Central Park Precinct Community Council (CPPCC) will recognize Emergency Medical Technicians from the Central Park Medical Unit (CPMU) for their assistance to New York City residents on the days preceding, during and following Hurricane Irene. A ceremony will be held to honor CPMU’s EMTs for their volunteerism on Thursday December 1, 2011 at Central Park’s Arsenal Building at 7:00PM. 830 Fifth Avenue, 3rd Floor New York, NY 10065.
“With New York City’s emergency medical resources stretched beyond capacity, CPMU members answered the request for mutual aid by responding to low lying areas of Manhattan and Brooklyn,” stated CPMU President Rafael Castellanos. While CPMU maintained their coverage of Central Park, the Unit also checked on at-risk individuals that required medical evacuation and even responded to 911 emergency calls like treating and transporting an asthmatic patient in Brooklyn just to name one. Castellanos continued that, “The members freely and knowingly left their homes and families to assist our City in safeguarding our citizens.”
Though CPMU’s primary area of responsibility is Central Park, providing invaluable work to the community in a time of crisis is nothing new to the Unit. In New York, where the demands are as diverse as the people, CPMU trains and re-trains its volunteer EMTs to respond to medical crises and tragedies. Relying only on donations and contributions, CPMU is prepared to provide emergency medical services in anything from bicycle accidents and cardiac arrests to plane crashes and natural disasters. Even during the attacks on the Work Trade Center in 1993 and September 11, 2001, CPMU executed an immediate, hands-on and multi-faceted response that saved lives.
“For the City to ask CPMU, a Unit whose typical jurisdiction is Central Park, to volunteer during emergencies only underscores how valuable and important this organization is to New York, “stated the newly appointed President of the Central Park Precinct Community Council, Reva Ross. “With a response time of generally less than three minutes, these volunteers are some of the best in the city. We recognize these terrific people as heroes for their consistent, hard work and they deserved to be honored by the Central Park Precinct Community Council.”
The individual members who were awarded for their efforts during Hurricane Irene are Rafael Z. Castellanos, Steven Peluso, Garry Resnick, Jonathan Kleisner, Zully Zurheide, Freddy Cheng, Jonathan Erlich, Roger Thomas, Matt Tirschwell, George Contreras, Andrew Zhu, Maggie Dicks, Tamara Briner, Brad Bayer, Patricia Rossi, Scott Cohen and Megan Flynn.