On Wednesday, September 8, the FDNY Foundation hosted its annual Humanitarian Awards Dinner. For the first time, the event took place at the FDNY Fire Academy on Randall’s Island. This record-breaking event raising over $4.2 million, supports the FDNY Foundation to help provide Fire and Life Safety Education Programs and much more. Kristine Johnson, Co-Anchor on CBS 2 News served as the emcee for the night.
The FDNY and FDNY Foundation Commemorated the 20th Anniversary of Sept. 11 and honored two long-time friends and supporters, Marc Holliday and Matthew J. DiLiberto of SL Green Realty Corp.
“This is a great event, because it is an opportunity for all of us in the Fire Department to say thank you to all of you at the FDNY Foundation,” said FDNY Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro.
“This has been a difficult year. Covid-19 drew challenges we had never faced before, but as we always do, the FDNY rose to the occasion. Our members stood up and showed up, time and time again, when everyone was being told to stand down. We were the busiest we’ve ever been, and we got through the hard times. When we get through hard times, we do that with you, the Foundation, helping us through as needed. This kind of support is immeasurable. 20 years this week marks when we faced our darkest day, you were there for us. You’ve been there for us every day since. The last 20 years have taught us much about rebuilding, resiliency, and our ability to constantly teach, train and improve. Last week when our city faced unprecedented flooding and rainwaters – we stepped up and showed up as we always do, as a Department that’s capable of handling anything,” said Commissioner Nigro.
“Tonight, we remember the 20th Anniversary of 9/11 and the 343 members who were killed that day and the 257 members who have since died from 9/11 related illnesses,” said FDNY Foundation Chairman, Stephen L. Ruzow. “The funds we raise, thanks to you, enable the FDNY Foundation to fund the FDNY fire safety education unit, to provide fire and life safety education programs in our communities, CPR training, forcible door entry simulators, scholarships, fitness equipment for members and much, much more.”
Mr. Ruzow added, “Last year the FDNY had one of its most difficult years as its members bravely responded to tens of thousands of calls throughout the city due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and for a good period of time our city was the epicenter of the pandemic. FDNY Firefighters, EMTs and Paramedics make this the greatest fire department in the world through their steadfast courage, dedication, professionalism, and bravery. They are committed to saving lives and they never hesitate to ”answer the call of duty.”
Marc Holliday is the Chairman and CEO of SL Green Realty Corp. He has served as the CEO since 2004 and became the Chairman of the Board as of January 2019. Under Mr. Holliday’s leadership, SL Green has grown to be New York City’s largest owner of office properties and the dominant landlord in Midtown Manhattan. He was honored by the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum in 2017, receiving the Intrepid Salute To Freedom Award in honor of his outstanding business and philanthropic achievements and his commitment to supporting programs for active service men and women and veterans.
Matthew J. DiLiberto currently serves as the Chief Financial Officer of SL Green Realty Corp. He joined the company in 2004. He oversees the finance, accounting, tax, investor relations and corporate capital markets functions of the organization. Mr. DiLiberto is on our Board of Directors here at the FDNY Foundation. He has also been a firefighter and EMT in New Jersey since 1997. Mr. DiLiberto serves on the National Association of Real Estate Investment Trust’s Best Financial Practices Council and is Accounting Committee Co-Chair.
The FDNY Foundation and our Board of Directors would like to send our sincere thanks and gratitude to Mr. Holliday, Mr. DiLiberto and all at SL Green Realty Corp. for helping us raise record funds for this year’s awards ceremony, and for their continued support of the FDNY and FDNY Foundation.
The FDNY Dept. Special Recognition Award was presented to the FDNY Incident Management Team and the FDNY Bureau of Training’s Learning Management System Unit, by Chief of Dept. Thomas J. Richardson
Throughout the COVID-19 Pandemic, record-setting work on the city’s 911 system took its toll on every member and system of the Department. In those early weeks and months, the FDNY Incident Management Team (IMT) played a critical role in supporting the City’s response to pandemic. Made up of FDNY members of all ranks, the IMT responded with highly trained personnel. The group was divided into the following sections: Command Staff, Finance, Logistics, Planning and Operations. All sections worked to support the FDNY’s response to a rapidly expanding, deadly and prolonged emergency. The IMT initially supported the Department’s two primary missions: one was to serve the patient with the best prehospital medical care. The other was to protect staff from a contagious illness. The IMT kick-started daily calls with top leaders and members of different bureaus and units in the FDNY. Those daily calls were critical in keeping everyone focused on the mission. The IMT managed the procurement and distribution of meals to City employees across the City, acquired necessary facilities, managed transportation and communications needs and ensured any needs for equipment maintenance and medical services for incident personnel were quickly met.
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the FDNY’s training environment with a shift to remote learning. To meet the need, members at the Bureau of Training (BOT) developed the FDNY’s Learning Management System (LMS) to provide the workforce with unparalleled access to a broad library of content developed by members. Accessing this material now is easier than ever, through web browsers or on mobile devices, and all content is available anytime and anywhere. Material is broken down by categories, including bureaus, boroughs and many others. Most courses are optional, short-focused learning activities that enhance a member’s knowledge of a topic. The Department continually produces new, high-quality material and uploads existing content onto the LMS. All training is easily tracked in the system, creating a centralized repository, including Fire Academy field training, annual training and new initiatives.
This year’s Chief William M. Feehan Fire Safety Education Award – which is presented each year to a school for its dedication to fire safety education ,and its participation with the FDNY Fire Safety Education Unit . The recipients were 5 schools, one in each borough, who took part in the 2020 Virtual Fire Prevention Day to kick off the 95th Annual National Fire Prevention Week and the opening of the FDNY Fire Zone’s new location in Rockefeller Center.
The FDNY Foundation would like to thank our honorees and all our donors, supporters, and especially the FDNY for making this extraordinary event possible. It was a pleasure returning to an in-person event to welcome all our guests. We would like to extend a special thanks to Lee Greenwood who ended our program by singing “God Bless the USA.”
To view more photos from the event, click here