On Wednesday, May 22, the FDNY Foundation hosted its 24th annual Humanitarian Awards Dinner at the New York Hilton in Manhattan. This was another very successful year as the event raised over $2.6 million, which supports FDNY fire and life safety education efforts, as well as training and equipment for members of the FDNY. Rosanna Scotto on Fox 5 served as the emcee for the night.
The dinner is held every year to honor individuals who support to the Fire Department of New York.
“Tonight is an opportunity for all of us in the FDNY to say thanks to all of you. Over the years, the support our Foundation has received from the individuals in this room, and the many world-class organizations you represent, has allowed our Department to achieve unprecedented success. Together, we rebuilt a badly battered Department after September 11th”, said FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro.
“Your kindness and generosity allows the FDNY Foundation to support the life-saving mission initiatives and never ending work of the FDNY. The uniformed members of the FDNY make it the greatest Fire Department in the world through their steadfast courage, dedication, professionalism and bravery. They are committed to saving your life and the lives of your loved ones and they never hesitate to answer the call of duty,” said FDNY Foundation Chairman Stephen Ruzow.
Ruzow added, “Because of you, 20,000 New Yorkers receive free CPR training each year. You have allowed us to support “GET ALARMED NYC”, which has provided and installed more than 150,000 ten-year sealed smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in homes in NYC’s high fire-risk neighborhoods. The FDNY embraces a mission well beyond responses to fires and EMS calls that includes fire prevention and fire safety education.”
This year, the FDNY and FDNY Foundation honored two long-time supporters of the FDNY and FDNY Foundation, Frank J. Bisignano, and George R. Oliver.
Mr. Bisignano is the Chairman and CEO of First Data, one of the largest Fintech companies in the world, processing $2.6 trillion in payments a year. Mr. Bisignano’s leadership includes executive roles at the world’s largest financial institutions, serving as Co-COO and CEO of Mortgage Banking at JPMorgan Chase and for Citibank, CAO and Leader of Global Transaction Services.
Mr. Oliver is the CEO and Chairman of Johnson Controls International, a global diversified technology and multi industrial leader serving a wide range of customers in more than 150 countries. Previously, Mr. Oliver served as the President and COO of Tyco International. Prior to Tyco, Mr. Oliver worked at General Electric (GE) in various operational roles for 20 years.
In the weeks prior to receiving their awards, both honorees had the opportunity to visit firehouses and see the great work that the men and women of the FDNY do on a daily basis. Mr. Bisignano visited Engine 323 in Brooklyn, a block from where he grew up. Mr. Oliver visited Engine 33/Ladder 9 in the Bowery neighborhood of Manhattan. Both men got to try on bunker gear and chat with the members of each house.
Additionally, the FDNY Special Recognition Award was presented to the FDNY Fire Safety Education Unit (FSEU). Commissioner Nigro said of the FSEU, “Members of this unit are out there on the front lines educating New Yorkers and fulfilling the core mission of the FDNY Foundation – last year sharing critical fire safety information with more than 750,000 people. In the last two years, the Fire Safety Education Unit has distributed or installed more than 200,000 smoke and carbon monoxide alarms in homes in at-risk neighborhoods throughout our city. And they will soon begin distributing another 60,000 alarms this year! That is the kind of life-changing AND life-saving impact your generous support makes for our fellow New Yorkers.”
The goal of the Fire Safety Education Unit is to eliminate residential fire deaths in New York City. This year, the FSEU is on track to complete over 8,500 presentations, reaching over 700,000 individuals. The FSEU program includes presentations at local schools and community centers and hands-on learning in the FDNY Mobile Fire Safety Experience Trailers.
This year’s Chief William M. Feehan Fire Safety Education Award – which is awarded each year to a school for its dedication to fire safety and its participation with the FDNY Fire Safety Education Unit – was presented to PS 175 Henry H. Garnet School in Harlem. In October of 2018, students from PS 175 visited E59/L30 and participated in various interactive learning experiences guided by firefighters, and had the opportunity to climb on the truck, try on bunker gear, and learn about the importance of working smoke alarms, and other fire safety tips.
The school has built a concept of fire safety by partnering with the FDNY to provide annual classroom fire safety presentations, and ensuring that students learn the critical life-saving lessons of fire safety.
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To see more photos from the evening, please click here.