What an incredible and heartwarming celebration in Times Square for National First Responders Day! The program was presented by FRCF’s corporate partner, SERVPRO, and included the recognition of real-life heroes who represented each first responder category for their brave service in the areas of police, fire, EMS, 9/11 dispatchers, and corrections. A special tribute was paid to the heroes who responded to the tragic Covenant School Shooting.
Our Roll Call of Heroes included:
Firefighter Sam Fehrer who joined the Indianapolis Fire Department’s Station 11 and recently responded to a harrowing structure fire. Amidst the flames and chaos, Sam charged into the burning building and rescued a 10-month-old child from the perilous blaze.
Police Officer Andrew Hamett of Texas’ Irving Police Department who responded to a call reporting an upside down, submerged vehicle which had driven through a metal railing and down into a canal. Officer Hammett immediately dove into the water and was able to locate the victim inside the vehicle.
911 Dispatcher Keara Duncomb of the Moore City Police Department in Oklahoma who found herself in a critical moment when she received the call that ultimately saved a life. With calm and unwavering professionalism, she guided a distraught 10-year-old child on what to do after his grandmother had fallen and hit her head, resulting in severe blood loss.
Paramedic Lieutenant Miguel Flores is a decorated 24-year veteran of the FDNY where he began his career responding to the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Lieutenant Flores is also a member of the Executive Board for the FDNY’s Hispanic Society and is extremely active in the FDNY’s community affairs efforts teaching fire safety to children. This work has saved countless lives. On the morning of January 9, 2022, a high-rise fire killed seventeen people, including eight children in the Bronx. Several of the surviving children taught by Lieutenant Flores lived in the building. Many became heroes in their own right, recalling the safety lessons taught by Lieutenant Flores and guiding their families out to safety.
Correction Officer Rachelle Jones, a 15-year veteran of the New York City Department of Correction, recently helped rescue a motorist who had flipped their car. On her way home from work, Officer Jones observed the wreckage, and immediately pulled over and got the driver out of the vehicle to safety. By happenstance and moments later, Officers Raishamraj Persaud and John Wisti came across the accident while driving a Department of Correction bus. The officers quickly stopped to assist and utilized the DOC bus to block off traffic and proceeded to help at the scene until the New York City Fire Department arrived.
FRCF’s Hero Award was presented to:
Metro Nashville Police Department: Officers Michael Collazo, Jeffrey Mathes, Ryan Cagle, and Zachary Plese who displayed exceptional valor and resilience, confronting unimaginable circumstances to safeguard the lives of our community’s most vulnerable. In their moments of decision, they chose to be vessels of bravery, beacons of hope, pillars of strength, and sources of comfort during a time filled with chaos and despair.
FRCF’s Community Hero Award:
Lieutenant Julieann Stapleton, New York City Police Department
A very special thank you to our event partner SERVPRO, and the many organizations who helped make this a success such as the Times Square Alliance, NYC Parks, FDNY, NYPD, and Port Authority of NY & NJ.
Proceeds from the event will support FRCF programs including college scholarships, direct financial assistance, bereavement assistance, and toys during the holidays. Proceeds will also support mental health services for children of first responder families through the newly introduced First Responders Children’s Foundation Resiliency Program.
For more information about how to become a sponsor this event, please contact Joanna Black at 646-912-2681