New York, NY, March 23, 2004 – The Central Park Medical Unit was presented with the Partnership Award at The Fourteenth Parks Annual Awards hosted at The Arsenal (830 Fifth Avenue). The Honorable Adrian Benepe, Commissioner of the New York City Parks Department honored the Central Park Medical Unit for their endless commitment to Central Park and the people of New York City. This was the first time ever that an organization or individual outside of the Park’s Department was honored at this annual awards ceremony. Central Park Administrator Doug Blonsky and CPMU founding member Dorothy Marks were in attendance.
Commissioner Benepe spoke at length about the importance of the Central Park Medical Unit’s contributions to Central Park and the City of New York drawing close parallels between Central Park’s dramatic strides in cleanliness and reduced crime and the improvement in medical emergency response as a result of the Central Park Medical Unit’s founding. “Over the last 29 years, the Central Park Medical Unit has responded to thousands of injuries and medical conditions in Central Park, both major and minor, free of charge…. CPMU has met the challenge with fast and skilled medical care helping to save life and limb.”
Over the past 30 years the volunteers of the Central Park Medical Unit have grown from a handful of men and women to a large and diverse group that has provided more than one million dollars each year in free care to the patrons of Central Park and the residents of City of New York. The volunteers of the Central Park Medical Unit have also responded to citywide disasters during Flight 587 and Flight 800 plane crashes, the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, the September 11 the terrorist attacks and most recently the blackout of August 2003.
The volunteers of the Central Park Medical Unit have received numerous awards and citations from various agencies including the New York Police Department, the Mayor’s Office and the Office of Emergency Management for their direct involvement and dedication to the City of New York.