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Testimonials

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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Monday, September 25, 2017

To assist in the relief effort after Hurricane Harvey, 120 emergency workers have been dispatched to Texas from New York City. 

On Sunday, August 27, Mayor Bill de Blasio wrote on Twitter, “After superstorm Sandy, so many cities stepped up to help our people. We’ll do all we can to help those affected by this storm.”

Between Sunday and Monday, 40 members of the FDNY’s Incident Management Team and 80 firefighters and police officers from the Urban Search and Rescue Rapid Response Team left the city. 

The task force leader, FDNY Battalion Chief Jack Flatley, said, “We are set up for all types of rescues, including swift water rescues. I believe we’re ready to face any danger.”

FDNY Deputy Chief Dean Koester, who in Texas will serve as the incident commander for the team, explained that the Incident Management Team will be coordinating all of the rescue efforts in the target area, functioning as a sort of nerve center.

He said, “We’ll come up with a communications plan and set up communications in that area.”

College Station, Texas, is where the team was to report. Then from there members will be dispatched to wherever they’re needed, using one or two tractor-trailers to haul in food, tents, radio, communications equipment and other resources.

Koester said, “We basically build a small city down there.” 

He said that when Hurricaine Sandy hit, a similar team came to New York City from Texas to assist in coordinating the National Guard in the city. 

The Daily News reports, “Harvey and its catastrophic flooding continued to wreak havoc in southeastern Texas on Sunday. At least five people died, but that toll was expected to rise. Gov. Cuomo said on Saturday that members of the New York Air National Guard were being sent to Louisiana and Texas. About 20 Red Cross workers and a mix of seven retired and active-duty city firefighters left New York on Sunday. They plan to hand out food, bottles of water, first aid and other necessities to those affected by the powerful storm. Lt. George Ricco Diaz of the FDNY’s Ladder 50 in the Bronx said he’s ready to sleep in schools or set up a tent, since most hotels are reserved for evacuees.”

Diaz told the Daily News, “Immediately, they can tell that I’m not from there because of my accent. They know I’m from the north. And then they open up their arms. They know I’m there to help. They are very grateful.”

He said, “I’m personally motivated because in 9/11 the whole country responded to us when we needed it the most. Now it’s our turn.”

On Sunday, at the offices of the agency in Midtown, the regional director of workforce engagement for the American Red Cross Greater New York Region Joann Galardy praised the volunteers.

She said, “To have you guys step up so quickly, it means so much to us, and most importantly to the people of Texas who are waiting for your help.”

By Rachel Shapiro