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Medals of Excellence for NYC Transit Employees

A ceremony at NYC Transit headquarters highlighted the efforts of 38 employees who selflessly came to the aid of customers and fellow workers during times of need, or distinguished themselves on a consistent basis as they went about their normal duties.

Medals and commendations were awarded for specific acts of bravery and quick responses to situations that resulted in danger to others, as well as stand-out efforts during day-to-day operations.

An off-duty bus operator saves a child who has fallen from an apartment widow; track workers stop a rape; a train operator and conductor confront and stop a man intent on pouring gasoline on the floor of a subway car; a Brooklyn bus operator who is well-known and loved by his customers -- some of these acts have already received recognition in the press while others are now becoming widely known through this forum.

“I am extremely proud but not surprised by the actions of these MTA employees," said NYC Transit President Thomas F. Prendergast, offering congratulations to Transit workers for their quick-thinking and fast action in rendering assistance to those in need, as well as those who received recognition for outstanding efforts. “Throughout my two tours at Transit, as well as my time at the Long Island Rail Road, the thing that has impressed me most is the level of effort MTA employees are willing to put forth in order to protect our customers and co-workers and the pride they have in the performance of their jobs.”

Each year, awards are presented in three areas: Heroism -- for employees who perform specific acts of bravery on or off-duty in the face of extremely dangerous circumstances which easily could have resulted in personal injury or death. Commendations -- for job-related acts involving personal risk, or requiring exceptionally good judgment. The employee’s decisions and subsequent actions indicate that, without quick thinking and corrective measures, highly undesirable and dire consequences could have resulted. Distinguished Service -- commendations go to employees who have demonstrated outstanding efficiency that reflects the highest standards and ideals of a dedicated public employee.

“This is actually one of my favorite things to do, because there’s simply nothing better than celebrating the bravery of members of the MTA New York City Transit family, said NYC Transit Executive Vice President Robert Bergen, who hosted the event. “And not only that: We don’t often get a chance to acknowledge the work they do every day to move 8.5 million people. Today, however, is about employees who went beyond their daily duties. It’s about employees who risked their lives to save others and employees who made a difference.”

The acts that earned accolade for these employees were viewed as “nothing special” by award recipients but are indicative of the longstanding tradition of NYC Transit employees coming to the rescue when they notice someone in a potentially dangerous situation.

Nominations for potential honorees were sent to our Employee Recognition Program Committee, which selected the honored employees that met the committee’s criteria in the above mentioned categories.

Honorees:

Heroism (2 Awards; 3 Recipients)

Employee

Title

Act

1

Vitaliy Umanskiy

Track Equip Maintainer

Prevented violent rape in Bowery tube

2

Donald Limardo

Track Equip Maintainer

3

Steve St. Bernard

Bus Operator

Saved girl falling from 3rd-story window

Distinguished Service (2 Awards; 2 Recipients)

Employee

Title

Act

4

Jefrick R. Dean, Sr.

Bus Operator

Sloan Honoree; 200+ customer praise

5

Harry Berkowitz

Admin Manager

35 Years as Chaplain; created chaplaincy

Commendation (15 Awards; 33 Recipients)

Employee

Title

Act

6

Suibin Zhao

Maintenance Supervisor

Removed an intoxicated customer from tracks as train entered 36th St station

7

John Parisi

Signal Maintainer

8

Ronald Barone

Signal Maintainer

9

Mark Riley

Superintendent

10

Harold Crawford

Collecting Agent

Assisted NYPD officer in subduing suspect

11

Eugene Hucks

Analyst

Revived coworker who suffered heart attack

12

Queen Wilkerson

PAA

13

Matthew Sanacore

Shop Supervisor

Found and saved unconscious contractor

14

Daniel McIntyre

Rd Mtnc Supervisor

Prevented possible derailment

15

Marcia Seale

Train Operator

Confronted customer attempting to pour gasoline in car and station

16

Brett Nias

Conductor

17

James Rocco

Bus Operator

Assisted customer wounded by gunshot

18

Cleon Rose

Car Inspector

Saved sick customer who fell onto tracks at Grand Central

19

Neville Turner

Mntc Supervisor

20

Rodney Plummer

Bus Operator

Called EMT to save stroke victim on bus

21

Charlandra Gibson

Bus Operator

Performed Heimlich on a choking customer

22

Roberto Perez

Special Inspector

23

Anthony Patriarca

Special Inspector

Canvassed area for and apprehended SBS

24

George Versakos

Special Inspector

mugger as he fled into supermarket

25

Timothy Reynolds

Special Inspector

26

Theodore Filter

Signal Helper

27

Roger Reid

Signal Maintainer

Removed an intoxicated customer from tracks as train entered Queens Plaza Station

28

Pradeep Trehan

Signal Maintainer

29

Isidro Torres

Signal Helper

30

Francesco D'Erasmo,

Signal Maintainer

31

Lisa Beecham

Spec. Inspect Supv

32

John Ricci

Special Inspector

Observed and detained career criminal,

33

Jeffery Woon

Special Inspector

pickpocketing SBS customers, resulting

34

Kenneth Dyer

Special Inspector

in arrest and closing 17 criminal cases

35

Derek Brown

Special Inspector

36

Andrew McConnell

Special Inspector

37

Lemuel C. Blake

Station Agent

Assisted NYPD in apprehending suspect

38

Levon Airapetov

Cleaner

Pulled injured man from roadbed to safety