Six B&T Employees Honored As Heroes For Saving Two Lives

With the bridge serving as a stately backdrop, Lt. Cheryl DeSetto, Sgt. Michael Chiarelli, Maintainer Giuseppe Bonamico and BTO Edward Grimm were honored at John Paul Jones Park in Bay Ridge on May 10th.

Photo of Verrazano-Narrows employees honored for heroism
Caption: (l to r) Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, Bridges and Tunnels Vice President and Chief of Operations James Fortunato, BTO Edward Grimm, Lt. Cheryl DeSetto, Maintainer Giuseppe Bonamico, Sgt. Michael Chiarelli, Sen. Martin Golden and aide to Rep. Michael Grimm, Liam McCabe.

State Sen. Martin Golden, whose district includes Bay Ridge on the eastbound side of the bridge, said the VN employees were just doing their everyday jobs but when they noticed something out of the ordinary, they did not hesitate to act.

"These officers made the decision to jump out there and save lives," he said. "They deserve to get honored day after day but they don't, which is why we chose to honor them here today."

BTO Grimm was instrumental in saving the first man on April 4th, and Bonamico, DeSetto, Chiarelli, and two other officers who could not attend, Joseph Dahl and Jared Reeves, rescued another man on May 1st.

"The officers of the Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority are often overlooked and after hearing of the lives they saved, I wanted to recognize them on behalf of our community," said Assemblywoman Nicole Malliotakis, whose district includes the East Shore of Staten Island and Bay Ridge. "They combat many different threats, including those by drunken and reckless drivers, and even terrorism, on a regular basis."

All of those being honored were given plaques and certificates of recognition. Rep. Michael Grimm, no relation to BTO Grimm, could not attend but was represented by aide Liam McCabe.

Bridges and Tunnels Vice President and Chief of Operations James Fortunato congratulated the recipients, and thanked the elected officials for having the ceremony. "I also want to thank all the employees of Bridges and Tunnels for the outstanding job they do each and every day."

Also in attendance were MTA Director of Central Operations Daniel DeCrescenzo, Director of Bridges South William McCann, Bridge and Tunnel Officers Benevolent Association (BTOBA) President Officer Wayne Joseph, BTOBA Vice President Officer Edward Kalantz, Superior Officers Benevolent Association (SOBA) President Lt. Marc Sirlin, and SOBA Sergeant at Arms Sgt. Jerome Huntzinger.