FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 28, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND SANITATION COMMISSIONER DOHERTY PRESIDE OVER PROMOTIONS AND HONOR SANITATION WORKERS FOR ACTS OF BRAVERY
533 New Sanitation Workers Appointed, 370 Promoted
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Sanitation Commissioner John J. Doherty today presented Gold, Silver, and Bronze Medals of Honor for acts of bravery performed by members of the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY) at the Department's annual awards ceremony. The Mayor and the Commissioner also administered the oath of office to 533 new Sanitation Workers. Promotions for 370 DSNY employees in various ranks, including Chief, also took place. The ceremony was held at the Colden Auditorium at Queens College.
"This awards day is a great tradition of a proud City agency, which happens to be the best Sanitation Department in any city in the nation," said Mayor Bloomberg. "The dedicated men and women of the Department of Sanitation - New York's Strongest - not only have made our City the cleanest it has been in over 30 years by performing their duties with diligence and determination, but they even have gone above and beyond the call of duty to save lives. I salute today's medals recipients and the example they set."
"The men and women of the Department carry on a tradition of vital city service that sometimes does not garner the recognition it should," said Commissioner Doherty. "On a day meant to honor New York's Strongest, I am proud of all our Sanitation Workers, supervisors of all levels, and civilian personnel who have made this great Department successful."
The Mayor and the Commissioner honored the men and women who formed DSNY's Delaware County Flood Relief Unit. Last summer, these 65 volunteers traveled to upstate's Delaware County to render assistance to an area that received 15 inches of rain and was heavily damaged by floods. The team, led by Deputy Chief Nicholas Vero, assisted in debris removal, road repair and street cleaning. Ed Snow, the Mayor of Walton, New York, and a retired member of the New York City Police Department, was on hand to personally thank those who came to the aid of his town. Through their efforts, the DSNY's Delaware County Flood Relief Unit boosted the morale of local residents and served as ambassadors of good will for the City.
Gold Medal of Honor
The Gold Medal of Honor was awarded to Sanitation workers Michael Abatatuno and Anthony DiMasso, of Queens East Borough. While on mail duties, Abatatuno and DiMasso, witnessed a vehicle flip over several times on the Van Wyck Expressway. Immediately, DiMasso pulled his vehicle to the side of the road to offer assistance. As the two men approached the vehicle, they observed a woman and a child, who was still strapped in a car seat, trapped inside the vehicle. Together they pried open the sunroof and pulled the child to safety. Next, they pulled the driver out through the driver's side window. When all the occupants of the vehicle were safe, Abatatuno and DiMasso noticed gas leaking from the vehicle. They put the vehicle in park, shut off the engine and called 911 and the driver's family. Both Sanitation workers stayed with the occupants of the vehicle to comfort them until police, firefighters, and paramedics arrived.
Silver Medal of Honor
The Silver Medal of Honor was awarded to Sanitation workers Kyle Bluth and Michael Casagrande, of Manhattan's Garage 6. On June 12, 2006, they responded to a car accident in midtown Manhattan. Together, they pulled to safety the driver and three passengers, one of whom was a young child, from a smoldering car.
Bronze Medal of Honor
The Bronze Medal of Honor was awarded to Supervisor Frank Perrone of the Lot Cleaning Division. On March 6, 2007, Supervisor Perrone had inspected a lot in the Bronx and was completing a report, when he noticed a young woman clothed only in pajamas and slippers running down the street in freezing weather. She was pursued by a man who was pushing an infant in a baby carriage. The man and the woman exchanged words when, suddenly, the man punched the woman in the face. The man then entered into a taxi with the infant. Supervisor Perrone blocked the cab with his vehicle and ordered the man to get out of the taxi. Upon seeing Supervisor Perrone's uniform, the cab driver told the man to leave his vehicle. The man did so and surrendered the infant to Supervisor Perrone, who, meanwhile, was requesting assistance on his DSNY radio. The man fled into a nearby apartment building. Supervisor Perrone secured the woman, infant, and two witnesses in his DSNY vehicle and gave chase to the assailant. The police arrived, filed an assault report, and escorted the woman and her child back to their home.
Stu Loeser/Jason Post (212) 788-2958
Vito Turso (Sanitation)