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Mayor de Blasio and Hispanic Federation Announce Partnership to Bring First Responders to Puerto Rico

September 23, 2017

NEW YORK—Mayor de Blasio and the Hispanic Federation today announced a partnership to bring first responders to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria, which has left unprecedented devastation on the island. 

“We’re ready to do all we can to help those affected by this devastating hurricane. We thank the Hispanic Federation for making this flight possible, and these responders for dedicating their time and expertise to assisting with recovery,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“The relief mission we are partnering to execute will help Puerto Rico in its darkest hours,” said José Calderón, President of the Hispanic Federation. “I commend Mayor de Blasio and the City of New York for their leadership and for demonstrating unflinching solidarity with the Puerto Rican people. I must thank Lin-Manuel Miranda, his dad Luis and the Miranda family for their untiring effort to raise funds to make this possible.”

"New York City stands with our brothers and sisters in Puerto Rico," said Public Advocate Letitia James. "Thank you to the Hispanic Federation, Mayor de Blasio, and, most importantly, our first responders for making a difference during this critical time. Hurricane Maria has caused massive devastation, but Puerto Rico won't be left behind and we will work together to make the island stronger than ever."

Saturday morning, a team of 22 City workers and Council Speaker Mark-Viverito departed Teterboro Airport in New Jersey on the way to San Juan, Puerto Rico. The flight is being sponsored by the Hispanic Federation, which is helping to coordinate relief efforts. The Mayor’s Office is facilitating the participation of the first responders partaking in this mission, including providing leave.

The 22 City workers include a previously-announced team of 10 emergency managers who will coordinate logistics and help manage recovery operations, as well as nine members of the NYPD Hispanic Society, one staff member from the Mayor’s Community Affairs Unit, and two staffers from Department of Buildings with experience in building inspections and checking structural integrity.

These responders join 36 FDNY and NYPD personnel who are members of the Urban Search and Rescue New York Task Force 1, which was recently deployed to Puerto Rico by FEMA.

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