Metropolitan Transportation Authority logo

MTA Press Releases

Press Release
December 6, 2013
IMMEDIATE
MTA NYC Transit Awards Medals of Excellence

An awards ceremony highlighted the outstanding efforts of 32 New York City Transit employees who selflessly came to the aid of customers and fellow workers during times of need, or distinguished themselves consistently 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.  The ceremony, held at the National Grid Auditorium in Downtown Brooklyn, was attended honorees, their families and co-workers and top Transit officials.

Details of the incidents were compelling and served to illustrate the willingness of NYC Transit workers to go above and beyond the call of duty, often disregarding their own personal safety.  Examples include a signals maintenance crew spotted four people in peril during Superstorm Sandy and drove in reverse 200 feet to rescue them and escort them to the hospital; a power distribution maintainer saved a customer with disabilities from the track bed at the Myrtle-Wyckoff Av station complex, where trains were entering every four minutes; on two different occasions, employees prevented trains from entering stations immediately after an injured customer had fallen onto the tracks; and a 65-year Transit employee, renowned throughout the agency.  Some of these individuals have already received recognition in the press while others are only now becoming widely known through this forum.

“Your heroism and service make each of you role models for your fellow workers and serve to inspire our customers.  You go out and show every day that people matter,” said NYC Transit President Carmen Bianco.  “A lot has changed in New York City since my first tour at Transit in 1991.  But, I’m glad to see that one thing hasn’t changed: our agency remains filled with dedicated, hard-working employees who provide an essential service for millions of people each day.  It’s the people who make the system, and as I often say, ‘People Matter.’  The acts for which you are being hailed today show me that you feel exactly the same way.”

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.

“Medals of Excellence are one of our signature employee recognition programs and our agency’s highest honor.  They celebrate employees for their extraordinary dedication to our customers and our agency,” noted Dawn M. Pinnock, Vice President, Human Resources, who hosted the event.

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

Honorees:

Heroism (8 Awards; 12 Recipients)

1

Roger Bell

PDM

Rescued blind, double-amputee from tracks

2

Leudy Acosta

Supervisor

Saved lives and equipment during Sandy

3

Cosimo Cascio

Superintendent

Led 6 employees to safety during Sandy

4

Johnny Goings

Structure Mntnr

Evacuated families and rescued coworkers during Sandy

 

5

Joseph Landro

Structure Mntnr

6

Joseph Fraschilla

Plumber

7

Salvatore Ambrosino

Superintendent

Spotted 4 people in peril during Sandy, drove in reverse 200 feet to rescue them and escorted them to the hospital

 

8

Eric Williams

Superintendent

9

Steven Miller

Superintendent

10

Michael Watt

Supervisor

11

Colombo Solimo

Signal Mntnr

12

Kevin Puma

Signal Mntnr

 

 

Commendation (14 Awards; 19 Recipients)

1

Gerald Smith

Cleaner

Prevented customer from falling between cars

2

Larry Alava

Cleaner

Found and reported broken rail, avoiding derailment

3

Felicia Williams

Cleaner

Spotted & identified fleeing criminal, aiding the arrest

4

Adam Joshua

Station Agent

Identified 4 muggers and assisted police investigation

5

Dionne West

Cleaner

Persuaded woman off the tracks & comforted her

6

Adalberto Baez

Cleaner

Flagged train upon seeing a drunk man on roadbed

7

Mark Hodge

Road Car Inspector

Revived coworker via CPR in remote area of yard

8

Vincent Clark

Stockman

Restored and ran storeroom damaged by Sandy

9

Donald Hay

Train Operator

Prevented a train from hitting 3 customers in tracks

10

Abdelkader Macer

Signal Mnter

Descended onto tracks to help customer onto the

11

Harry Philip

Signal Helper

platform after train entered station

12

Evon Reynolds

Train Svs Supv

Rescued an apparently-intoxicated customer who

13

Eric Younger

Train Svs Supv

fell onto the roadbed at the Rector Street station with the power still on

14

Chris Magri

Train Svs Supv

 

15

Sean Byrnes

Prop Protect Agt

Stopped Museum visitor from toppling down lift

16

Jihad Abed

Bus Operator

Saved a teenage customer from gang assault

17

William Schneider

Superintendent

Supervised evacuations and repatriations of patients

from nursing homes and senior centers during

Sandy

18

Mark Finamore

Superintendent

19

Thomas Chin

Officer

 

 

Distinguished Service (1 Award, 1 Recipient)

1

Thomas Merrick

Superintendent

Longest-serving NYCT employee (65 years)