New York, NY January 8, 2013 At the Arsenal Building, headquarters of the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, The President of the United States, Barack Obama, in his written remarks which were read to an assembled group at a regularly scheduled meeting of the Central Park Precinct Community Council attended by many community leaders, as well as NYPD Chief of Manhattan North, William Morris; Inspector Raul Pintos representing Chief of Community Affairs, Philip Banks; Commanding Officer of the Central Park Precinct, Jessica Corey; Central Park Precinct Community Council President, Roger Thomas; members of the Community Council and a very surprised President of the Central Park Medical Unit, Rafael Castellanos. President Obama in his written statement recalled his first Inaugural Address where he stated, “We need a new era of responsibility – a recognition on the part of every American that we have a duty to ourselves, our Nation, and the world.” “These are duties that we do not grudgingly accept, but rather seize gladly, firmly in the knowledge that there is nothing so satisfying to the spirit than giving our all to a difficult task.”
The President further wrote, “Thank you for your devotion to service and for doing all you can to shape a better tomorrow for our great Nation.” “Congratulations on receiving the President’s Volunteer Service Award and thank you for helping to address the most pressing needs in your community and our country.” President Obama conferred the “President’s Call to Service Award” which is the highest award possible recognizing volunteers for their life time of service.
Rafael Castellanos, President of Central Park Medical Unit, receives the President's Call to Service Award. The award was presented by Roger Thomas, President of the Central Park Precinct Community Council, along with NYPD Chief of Manhattan North, William Morris, and Central Park Precinct Commanding Officer, Captain Jessica Corey.
Rafael Castellanos, who has performed 40 years of volunteer public service, accepted the award on behalf of all the members of the Central Park Medical Unit. CPMU is a diverse group of more than 150 volunteers which not only acts as the frontline emergency medical response for Central Park’s 40 million visitors but in times of crisis responds to citywide disasters. The Medical Unit responds to emergencies in State record time and their expert care is totally free of charge to all the patients it serves. In addition, CPMU acts as a training ground for many future, EMTs, paramedics, nurses and physicians.