Urban Park Rangers Honored for 9/11 Heroism

From left: Adena Long, deputy commissioner for Urban Park Service, with PEP Officers Annette Probst and Nancy Mercado, Local 983 President Joe Puleo, PEP Officer Sam Hendricks, NYPD First Deputy Commissioner Benjamin Tucker and Resident Manager Emergency Response Team co-founder Pete Morici. Photo: Clarence Elie-Rivera

By DIANE S. WILLIAMS

Sixteen years after aiding thousands to safety aross the Hudson River during the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, three heroic Urban Park Rangers and the Local 983 president received presidential citations at a ceremony at the National September 11 Memorial and Museum on Dec. 19.

Local 983 President Joe Puleo and PEP Officers Nancy Mercado, Sam Hendricks and Annette Probst worked at Battery Park City and were pivotal in directing thousands to safety on 9/11 in the greatest civilian evacuation in U.S. history.  Sept. 11 survivor and Battery Park City resident Joseph Gibney said, “Hundreds of thousands of lives were saved because people did their jobs.”

The FEMA-trained PEP Officers were honored upon completing the Resident Manager Emergency Response Team (RMERT) program, a 15-week advanced emergency response course in high-rise evacuation, search and rescue, and anti-terrorism procedures.

“Each time there’s been an attack — the ’93 bombing of the Twin Towers,  September 11, and the recent terrorism on October 31, Parks Enforcement Patrol were first to respond,” Puleo said. “We thank them for their bravery and heroism.”

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