The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) that represents Brooklyn Community Districts 10 and 11 has received a citywide award for over 100 hours of dedicated volunteer service by the New York City Department of Emergency Management (NYCEM), according to one of its members.
News of the award was presented to Community Board 11 (CB 11) at its March full board meeting, held on Thursday, March 9 at the Bensonhurst Center for Rehabilitation and Healthcare (1740 84th Street), by volunteer William Vitale.
“I’d just like the community to know that members of our team, which [serves] community boards 10 and 11 in Bay Ridge and Bensonhurst, have received an award for over 100 hours of dedicated volunteer service,” he told members of the board, noting also that one of the team’s members was also recently awarded the John D. Soloman Emergency Preparedness Award — an award presented annually to a CERT member who shows outstanding dedication to the program, among other feats. “It’s one of the highest awards that the Department of Emergency Services hands out. One of our own members won that award.”
When asked the name of the awardees by members of the audience, Vitale refused, making way for CB 11 Chair Bill Guarinello to announce to the board that the recipient of the award was none other than Vitale himself, who did not want to draw attention to himself.
The John D. Soloman Award is given to someone that the agency believes embodies the enthusiasm that Soloman — an active member of his team on Manhattan’s Upper East Site who, throughout illness, remained steafast in his dedication to the program and the people it served — displayed each and every day until his death.
Soloman was known for making the people he met more prepared for emergency.
Vitale’s team — which covers the neighborhoods of Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Fort Hamilton, Bensonhurst, Bath Beach, Gravesend and Mapleton — is currently under the leadership of Janet General.
Vitale received the award alongside 111 CERT volunteer members on their graduation held last month at the 32BJ Training Fund in Manhattan.