Children's Health

First Responder Heroes, FDNY and NYPD Leaders Join First Responders Children’s Foundation in Calling for Official “National First Responders Day”

**Sharing on behalf of First Responders Children’s Foundation**

New York, Oct. 28In an effort to formally designate October 28th “National First Responders Day,” dozens of police officers, firefighters, nurses, EMTs and other first responder professionals from across America joined the First Responders Children’s Foundation (FRCF) at a Times Square ceremony and news conference Friday to help make official the national day of recognition.

President Joe Biden provided a proclamation in support of NFRD for the Times Square event, as did New York City Mayor Eric Adams, and the governors of 12 states. Luminaries on hand included Port Authority Police Department (PAPD) Superintendent Edward Cetnar; Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) Chief of Department John J. Hodgens; New York City Police Department (NYPD) Assistant Chief James McCarthy; U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) Deputy Special Agent in Charge (NY office) Jimmy Arroyo; SERVPRO Chief Operating Officer John Sooker, and FRCF President and Chief Executive Officer Jillian Crane. A joint NYPD, FDNY, PAPD Color Guard helped kick off the event.

“First responders put everything on the line for us day and night, and a national day of recognition for their sacrifices is long overdue,” Ms. Crane said. “During fires, hurricanes, floods, and other extreme events these heroes drop everything, including family time and obligations that the rest of us take for granted. First Responders Children’s Foundation salutes each of these heroes, as well as their family members, and we’re optimistically hopeful that National First Responders Day will be officially recognized by the federal government and all 50 state governments by this time next year.”

The House of Representatives in Washington has already declared October 28 National First Responders Day (NFRD), and it’s both hoped and expected that the U.S. Senate will soon follow suit. (NFRD would not be a bank or school holiday.)

Several first responders from around the country were awarded medals at the Times Square ceremony, which was hosted by FRCF and SERVPRO. The “Roll Call of Heroes Presented by SERVPRO” ceremony included awards for:

  • Detective Lieutenant Commander John Ryan, a 43-year veteran of the PAPD Special Operations Command who served as Day Tour Task Force Commander for the entire World Trade Center rescue and recovery operation;
  • Grand Traverse County, MI 911 Dispatcher Andrea Holczman who guided (via telephone) the roadside delivery of a baby;
  • Erin Coalliar RN BSN, a NICU nurse at Helen Devos Children’s Hospital in Grand Rapids, MI who has transported countless neonatal medical patients to hospitals by air and by ground;
  •  Anderson County, KY EMT Jimmy Robinson who saved a 14-year-old boy from drowning in a storm drain;
  • Los Angeles County Fire Department veteran Captain David Laub who flew to New York to help rescue and recovery efforts following the 9/11 attacks. Captain Laub also participated in rescue and recovery efforts in Puerto Rico following Hurricanes Irma and Maria;
  • DEA Special Agent Christian Garcia who targeted the most significant Drug Trafficking Organizations and drug traffickers responsible for distributing the deadliest drug facing America’s communities now, fentanyl and fentanyl pills;
  • NYPD Detective Erin Currie works in the Gun Violence Suppression Division and has been instrumental in taking guns off the street and is leading the charge concerning gang takedowns in Brooklyn.

President Biden’s proclamation is available here. Proclamations from the governors of Connecticut; Kentucky; Louisiana; Michigan; Mississippi; Nevada; Oregon; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Vermont, and West Virginia in support of National First Responders Day were also issued for the event.

This is the third annual National First Responders Day hosted by First Responders Children’s Foundation.

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NOTE: Video of this event is available here.  

ABOUT FIRST RESPONDERS CHILDREN’S FOUNDATION (FRCF)

For more than 21 years, FRCF has created programs to help children and families struggling with hardships that often accompany life with a first responder parent. Founded in the immediate aftermath of 9/11 to help the 800 children who lost a first responder parent to the attacks, FRCF focuses on four key program areas: Scholarships; Financial Assistance Grants; a Mental Health Resiliency Program; and Community Engagement. Today, FRFC is a national foundation, impacting over 400,000 children and family members of first responders. More information can be found at www.1stRCF.org. Follow First Responders Children’s Foundation on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @1strcf.

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Email: andrea.finnigan@spectrumhealth.org