NEW YORK, NY (October 28, 2019) – Today, First Responders Children’s Foundation paid tribute to the nation’s first responders on National First Responders Day at America’s Response Monument at Liberty Park in New York. A letter from Governor Andrew Cuomo was read to the audience, and messages of thanks to first responders across America were shared by first responder officials including FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro; NYPD Chief of Detectives Rodney Harrison; Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Deputy Superintendent Louis Klock, and New York City Health & Hospitals Chief Nurse Executive Natalia Cineas. Jillian Crane, President of First Responders Children’s Foundation thanked first responders and read a letter addressed to first responders scribed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo. “It’s a pleasure to send greetings to all gathered in celebration of National First Responders Day hosted by First Responders Children’s Foundation. This is an important day–one that aptly honors the brave men and women who put other lives ahead of their own when they step out onto the frontlines. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I am proud to offer my profound gratitude to these heroic first responders for their noble service and sacrifice. From our paramedics, EMTs, firefighters, and police officers, to our 911 dispatchers and medical personnel, we are blessed with extraordinarily courageous individuals, committed to protecting others despite risks to their own health and safety. In today’s unprecedented times, their dedication has not wavered, and we are forever indebted. Thank you to First Responders Children’s Foundation for providing us all with the opportunity to pay tribute to our brave and selfless first responders. I commend all affiliated with the Foundation for your dedication to providing support to these men and women and their families through tragic circumstances and extend best wishes for a wonderful celebration. With gratitude. Sincerely, Andrew M. Cuomo” First Responder Children’s Foundation Hero Awards were presented to several first responders who accepted the awards on behalf of all first responders across America. The Foundation’s “Roll Call of Heroes” included Detective Gloria Felix, Firefighter Kinga Mielnik, Paramedic Lieutenant Esmerelda Pepper-Gonzalez, Doctor Tanzib Hossain, Registered Nurse Geraldine Canlas and Patient Care Technician Ramona Torres. The goal of the Foundation is to make National First Responders Day a prominent national holiday across the country, and a special Citation was issued by Governor Cuomo on behalf of the State of New York to the First Responders Children’s Foundation in honor of its commitment to first responders during tragic circumstances and unprecedented challenges. First Responders Children’s Foundation also launched a PSA to honor first responders. The Foundation worked closely with Universal Music Group Nashville to integrate a timely rendition of the classic Don Williams song “Lord, I Hope This Day is Good” by Caylee Hammack and Alan Jackson with vivid images of hardworking first responder heroes—firefighters, police officers, paramedics, EMTs, doctors, nurses, coast guard, 911 dispatchers—who faithfully answer the call to every emergency, and are always ready to help others. The PSA is available for download here. Video recordings and photographs of The First Responders Children’s Foundation National First Responders Day Tribute can be found here. A recording of the livestream can be found here. For almost twenty years, First Responders Children’s Foundation has provided scholarships to children of first responders who have been injured or lost in the line of duty. The Foundation also provides emergency grants to first responder families facing financial hardship and community grants to first responder agencies. In response to COVID-19, the Foundation launched the Emergency Response Fund. Over the past seven months, the Foundation has supported and continues to offer assistance to first responders nationwide in several ways, including:
- Funding 12,946 hotel room nights and meal stipends so first responders don’t have to risk infecting their families and / or can self-quarantine.
- Awarding $8.6 million in grants to 8,646 first responders in all 50 states who have experienced financial hardship due to COVID-19.
- Distributing 656,000 FDA-certified, surgical-grade masks and additional PPE to first responder agencies.
- Paying for 109 funerals of first responders who died from COVID-19.