Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams on Dec. 27 honored Brooklyn’s latest “Heroes of the Month” at a ceremony in the courtroom of Brooklyn Borough Hall, recognizing a group of individuals helping to save lives in a variety of ways.
Adams said this included October’s honorees — New York City Police Department (NYPD) Officers Charles Edwards and Damion Graham, based at Transit District 30, downtown Brooklyn — for their heroic act of saving a one-year-old baby who had stopped breathing while traveling with his parents on a downtown C train.
On Oct. 8, Officers Edwards and Graham immediately responded to the scene following a 911 call alerting to the situation, Adams said.
He said Officer Edwards took the child into his arms and began cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), while Graham assisted him. They transported the baby to the nearest hospital, rather than wait for an ambulance to arrive.
In honoring this heroic duo, Adams noted that , as a former State senator, he had “championed” Briana’s Law, “which today ensures all NYPD officers are trained in CPR.”
“Cases like this are proof positive that these first responders are often in the best position to be the life savers we need,” he said. “Brooklynites join together in extending thanks for the quick-thinking response and compassionate effort these officers demonstrated in saving the life of this child.”
Adams also honored NYPD Deputy Inspector Joseph G. Seminara as November’s “Hero of the Month” for helping a Good Samaritan rescue a woman trapped inside a burning car on the Belt Parkway in the Canarsie section of Brooklyn.
At the completion of his 14-hour tour as commanding officer of the 23rd Precinct, on Nov. 28, Adams said Seminara was driving home when he encountered a two-vehicle wreck, with both vehicles ablaze.
Adams said some bystanders informed Seminara that a woman was trapped in one of the cars and could not get out.
As Seminara attempted to get 30-year-old Rhonda Alexander out through the driver’s door, he realized that the door was damaged and could not open, Adams said.
With the flames engulfing the car and no time to spare, he said Seminara got in the vehicle through the passenger door, but still had difficulty getting the woman out.
Adams said an anonymous motorist jumped into the fray and assisted Seminara in removing the woman from the burning car.
“As a former precinct commander, I know the duties of managing a precinct can be wearing and draining, yet Deputy Inspector Seminara sprinted into action, knowing there was a life at stake,” Adams said. “We are proud and fortunate to have such devoted heroes among the ranks of the NYPD.”
For December, Adams presented a “Hero of the Month” award to Emma’s Torch, a non-profit restaurant in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, that empowers refugees and survivors of human trafficking to build new lives through the culinary arts.
Named after Emma Lazarus, who wrote the poem etched on the Statue of Liberty, the restaurant’s student chefs work to prepare meals while receiving eight weeks of paid apprenticeship training, English language classes and job placement services, Adams said.
In 2017, Adams said 100 percent of Emma’s Torch’s graduates were placed in full-time culinary jobs.
Starting in February, Adams said Emma’s Torch will operate the concession program at the Brooklyn Public Library’s (BPL) Central Branch.
“We’re a nation of immigrants,” Adams said. “Emma’s Torch personifies what’s great about this country, and what’s great about giving back and allowing people to find hope and prosperity in the greatest country alive.”
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