New York, NY, December 4, 2003 – NYPD Captain Karin Azadian awarded certificates of heroism last evening at the YMCA on West 63rd Street, to volunteer members of the Central Park Medical Unit for their live-saving efforts during the blackout on August 14th. In front of a crowd which included Chief Ray Diaz from the Patrol Borough Manhattan North as well as a representative from Commissioner Adrian Benepe’s office, Captain Azadian recapped the valuable role the members of the Central Park Medical Unit provided within minutes of the blackout occurring.
At 4:11 p.m. both ambulances of the Central Park Medical Unit were fully staffed and responding to calls. With regular communication means such as land lines and cell phones not functioning, the unit’s members responded promptly to the unit’s pre-arranged emergency response HQ to begin tour. The ambulances were staffed and extra members were scheduled for later shifts. During the course of the first 24 hours of the blackout the ambulances responded to over 60 calls, some of which were ultimately found to be unfounded. The nature of calls ranged from regular medical and trauma calls to those which were directly related to the blackout. Central Park Medical Unit served mid- and upper-Manhattan for four consecutive days, beginning with the onset of the blackout on Thursday, August 14, with round-the-clock operations running until power had been restored in Manhattan.