FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 13, 2004
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG HONORS NEW YORK'S STRONGEST
DSNY Cleared Record Amounts of Snow from City and Kept Streets Clean in 2003
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Department of Sanitation (DSNY) Commissioner John J. Doherty hosted DSNY’s Annual Awards Ceremony at the Michael Schimmel Theater at Pace University. The Department honored 200 DSNY employees who have performed their duties in an outstanding manner.
“New York’s Strongest have done an outstanding job over the last year,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Today, we honor the men and woman of the Department who have gone beyond the call of duty to serve their City and I am proud of each one of these dedicated public servants. But I also want to thank the entire Department for their tireless service to our City. Last year’s snow would have brought other Cities to their knees, but it was no problem for this Department. Without you New York would grind to a halt and on behalf of 8 million New Yorkers I want congratulate you on a job well done.”
“Across our City everyday the men and women of the DSNY serve New Yorkers with honor and distinction,” said Commissioner Doherty. “This year’s awardees exemplify our Department’s commitment to New York. I am very proud all of the awardees and what they have accomplished – their heroism reflects on all members of this Department and I want to thank them for their service.”
Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Doherty presented a Perfect Attendance Award to 75-year-old Sanitation Worker (SW) Louis Gagliotto, of Brooklyn. SW Gagliotto started with the Department in 1957 and has served as one of ‘New York’s Strongest’ for the past 45 years without taking a sick day.
Commissioner Doherty administered the Oaths of Office to First Deputy Commissioner Michael A. Bimonte, new uniformed General Superintendents and Supervisors, and new Sanitation Enforcement Agents. A total of 44 promotions to various ranks of General Superintendent were convened, and 55 Supervisors were sworn into office. Sixty-two candidates for promotion and appointment in the Enforcement Division took the oath of office.
In addition, three unit citations were awarded. The Bureau of Cleaning and Collection (BCC) along with Support Services received citations for their record-breaking snow cleaning efforts during the Blizzard of February 2003. Through BCC’s use of the Department’s latest weapon - the Snow Melter - and the continuous work of the Support Services Snow Battalion mechanics who kept the ten Snow Melters working, the Department melted nearly 50,000 tons of snow. The third citation is being awarded to the Enforcement Division for helping to rid the City of illegal posters.
Two awards will be given for 25 years of service with perfect attendance to the Department. Levada Rice was awarded the Commissioner’s Citation for her dedication to the Department’s Blood Drive. She has been with the Department since 1978, worked with the Blood Drive since 1988, and became the Department’s Blood Drive Coordinator in 1995.
The Department awarded the following honors:
Gold Medal of Honor - This prestigious medal is given to the employee who clearly risks his or her own physical safety to come to the aid of another employee or human being.
Silver Medal of Honor - This noted medal is given to the employee who assumes probable risk to his or her physical safety to come to the aid of another employee or human being.
- Sanitation Workers Lucien Rojas and Robert Gravino, Queens East 12 - While on recycling collection duties on April 5, 2002, Sanitation Workers Rojas and Gravino noticed smoke emanating for a two-family house in Queens. The Sanitation Workers notified their garage and the Fire Department. As they approached the house to warn residents of the danger, they saw three young children standing in a window oblivious to the fire’s impending danger. SW Gravino entered the burning building, banged on the doors, and alerted the children and the other residents to leave the house. Meanwhile, SW Rojas scaled the backyard fence in an attempt to rescue an elderly man who was in the back room of the house. SW Rojas broke a rear window with a lawn chair to get air into the room. SW Gravino attempted to enter the room to rescue him but the heat, smoke, and fire proved too much. When the Fire Department arrived, everyone was out of the building except for the elderly man who was removed from the house and resuscitated by firefighters. Because of their combined heroic efforts, lives were saved.
- Sanitation Worker Jarritt Scotti, Permit Inspection Unit - While visiting friends in Astoria, Queens in April of 2003, SW Jarritt Scotti heard people screaming that a little boy drowning in the East River. Upon seeing the child, Sanitation Worker Scotti jumped in the river and rescued the child. A nearby U.S. Coast Guard launch removed Sanitation Worker Scotti and the child from the icy water.
- Supervisor Rocco Siclari, Bronx Borough Office - While on duty, Supervisor Rocco Siclari stopped an attempted kidnapping of two young children and a car theft. Supervisor Siclari pursued the vehicle with the two children in it until it struck a parked vehicle and stopped. Supervisor Siclari then drove his Sanitation vehicle in front of the vehicle to block it. The assailant left the vehicle and ran away. Supervisor Siclari immediately checked on the safety of the two children and removed them to safety. After reassuring the mother that her children were safe he continued the search for the assailant and joined the police in locating and apprehended the assailant.
- Supervisor Michael Pergola, Brooklyn 14 - While driving on Ocean Parkway on October 2002, Supervisor Pergola noticed smoke coming from the upper floors of an apartment building. Before running into the building to warn the residents of the fire, he called the Fire Department. He noticed heat coming from one apartment and felt the apartment’s door was hot. As he opened the door, he was overcome by smoke. Despite the smoke, he entered the apartment and saw an 80-year old female invalid whom he rescued and carried out to safety.
Bronze Medal of Honor - This distinguished medal is given to the employee who assumes possible risk to his or her physical safety to come to the aid of another employee or another human being.
- Sanitation Workers Patrick Carolan and Martin Baier, Queens East 13 - While on collection duties, the Sanitation Workers observed a woman being robbed by two assailants. SW Baier chased the assailants on foot followed by his partner, SW Carolan, who was driving the collection truck. The Sanitation Workers apprehended both assailants and held them for police custody.
- Civilian William Cooke, City Attendant, Bureau of Cleaning and Collection Operations, 125 Worth Street - After observing that a car had careened into a crowd of pedestrians standing on the corner of Worth Street during the height of the lunch hour on July 8, 2002, Mr. Cooke dragged two pedestrians away from the area of two burning cars to safety.
- Sanitation Worker Michael Bristol, Queens West Garage A - When a van started rolling into the busy intersection of Queens Boulevard as the traffic light turned red heading towards pedestrians, SW Michael Bristol jumped out of the truck, entered the van, and applied the emergency brake preventing the van from moving any further. The van’s operator was unconscious. SW Bristol called for emergency medical assistance. The van’s operator was taken to the hospital.
- Sanitation Worker Gregory Williams, Queens East 12 - While on plowing duties during the first major snow storm of the 2003-2004 Snow Season, Sanitation Worker Gregory Williams noticed smoke and flames coming the attic of a house along the route. After calling 911, Sanitation Worker Williams entered the burning building and assisted a woman out of the house. He also assisted a man who had jumped from the burning attic. He helped both of them to safety as they waited for Emergency Medical Service. Once EMS arrived, Sanitation Worker Williams resumed his plowing and cleared 40 curb miles of snow and ice.
- Sanitation Workers Robert Meyers and William Murphy, Staten Island 3 - While on regular garbage collection, Sanitation Workers Meyers and Murphy saw smoke coming from a home along their route. The Sanitation Workers alerted the homeowner and then proceeded to extinguish the fire with a garden hose.
- Sanitation Workers Christopher DiPeri and Michael O'Brien, Staten Island 3 - While on collection duties, Sanitation Workers DiPeri and O’Brien heard a woman yelling that she was being robbed. The Sanitation Workers called the police and chased the two assailants. The Police Department apprehended the assailants and the Sanitation Workers assisted in identifying the suspects.
Distinguished Service Certificate - An employee may be nominated for this award when an employee engaged in a good samaritan act that goes above and beyond the call of duty.
- Sanitation Police Officer Joseph Gomez, Sanitation Headquarters, 125 Worth Street - When a child in the lobby was experiencing seizures and was semi-conscious, Sanitation Police Officer Gomez call Emergency Medical Service, administered first aid to the child and monitored the child’s condition while awaiting EMS.
- Sanitation Workers Andre Cuevas and Norman Eskenazi, Manhattan 8A and 4A - As the Sanitation Workers were servicing a stop at St. Bartholamew’s Church, they discovered a gun in the trash and immediately notified the NYPD. An Emergency Service Unit Stationed nearby at the Waldof Astoria Hotel responded and recovered the gun.
Edward Skyler / Jordan Barowitz