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Mayor Bloomberg And Commissioner Bruno Announce That Five-member Office Of Emergency Management Team Will Assist In California Wildfire Operations

October 25, 2007

FDNY Incident Management Team Has Also Been Activated and Deployed to California

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Office of Emergency Management (OEM) Commissioner Joseph F. Bruno announced today that OEM is sending an experienced five- member emergency management team to California to assist in wildfire-related operations. The OEM team will join the New York City Fire Department (FDNY ) members who have already deployed to California. The OEM delegation, led by Deputy Commissioner of Planning and Preparedness Kelly McKinney, includes experts in planning, sheltering, project management, logistics, and human services. The California Office of Emergency Services has requested assistance in these areas. The team will depart for Sacramento this afternoon. The Mayor also encouraged New Yorkers who want to help to make donations to an established charity such as the American Red Cross or the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, which will distribute donations to disaster relief agencies.

“Our hearts go out to all those coping with the wildfires that have ravaged California, and I’m glad that our Fire and Emergency Management experts can offer some assistance to California as it deals with this devastating tragedy,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “We will never forget those who came to our aid after 9/11, and this is one small way we can help repay that debt.”

“After September 11th, New York City received a helping hand from every corner of the country,” said Commissioner Bruno. “I am extremely gratified to offer our assistance to the people of California during their time of need.”

After a brief orientation at the State of California’s Emergency Operations Center, the team will be transported to the San Diego area, where they will work alongside California authorities assisting the hundreds of thousands of residents who have been evacuated from their homes. The OEM team will be in California for up to two weeks and will work with the California Office of Emergency Services to determine what, if any resources may be needed beyond that time. The cost of the trip will be paid for by the City of New York.

Five members of the FDNY have been deployed to California as part of the FDNY Incident Management Team. Three fire officers and two firefighters will provide support for operations at the Santiago Fire near San Diego. In addition, nine firefighters who are members of the American Red Cross Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART) program have responded as volunteers, and will work in various capacities as needed under the auspices of the American Red Cross.

New Yorkers who want to make a donation to support those affected by the fires can give to an established charity such as the American Red Cross or through the Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City. Donations to the Mayor’s Fund can be sent in the form of a check to: Mayor’s Fund to Advance New York City, c/o City Hall, New York, NY 10007 with a note on the check that the donation is for “California Fire Relief.” The Mayor’s Fund, established in 1994 to serve as the umbrella not-for-profit organization for the City of New York, is dedicated to working closely with City agencies to support public programs. For more information call 311 (212-NEW-YORK).

Stu Loeser /Jason Post

(212) 788-2958