Generally Speaking: Brooklyn CERT team gets citywide award for excellence

The Community Emergency Response Team that represents Brooklyn Community Districts 10 and 11 received a citywide award for excellence in deployment and emergency response from the New York City Emergency Management Department.

The 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, ably assisted by Operations Chief William Vitale and Communications coordinator Dale Massey, who were joined by other team members.

Among borough finalists in competition for the coveted award were Bronx 1 CERT, Manhattan 8-ESNA CERT, Queens 7/11 CERT and Staten Island 1 Port Richmond CERT.

The presentations took place in conjunction with the New York City’s annual CERT graduation ceremony which was held at 4 World Trade Center in Manhattan, on June 20.

After completing a 10-week training program in disaster preparedness and basic emergency response skills that included lessons in fire safety, search and rescue, traffic management, first aid and triage, 90 new volunteers graduated.

Photos courtesy of NYC Emergency Management
Photos courtesy of NYC Emergency Management

Referring to the award winners and crop of new CERT members, New York City Emergency Management Commissioner Joseph Esposito said, “CERT volunteers are true leaders in our communities. These graduates will be joining a proud group of New Yorkers who are prepared to help their friends and neighborhoods when we need them most.”

Calvin Drayton, first deputy commissioner for emergency management, made the presentation of the Team Deployment Award to Team Chief Janet General.
While the New York City CERT program started in 2003, CERT1NYC, the predecessor to Brooklyn 10/11 CERT, was founded in 2001, by then-City Councilmember Marty Golden as a result of the horrific attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001.

One of Bay Ridge’s oldest business groups held its June monthly luncheon meeting at the Greenhouse Cafe on Third Avenue. We happened to have been attending a luncheon with the officers and directors of the Bay Ridge AARP when we popped in to check out the 12:30 Club of Bay Ridge, in an adjoining dinner room.

The 12:30 Club dates back to the late 1920s and held its initial monthly luncheon meetings at the famous Crescent Athletic Club at Shore Road and 83rd Street, since 1941 the site of Fort Hamilton High School. The new officers for the 2016-17 term are Big Chief Lee Swigouski, Little Chief Charles Emma, Treasurer Fred Cipriani and Secretary Bob Russo. Russo was the immediate past Big Chief.

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