UPDATE: BY THE END OF 2002 twenty-two (22) firehouses of the FDNY have been adopted and supplied with aromatherapy supplies.
Adopted Units that were provided Aromatherapy, their Sponsors:
Engine 1 ∙ Ladder24 ∙ Midtown Express ∙ adopted by Linda Flanders
Engine 5 ∙ (LT. Bob Bohack) adopted by Nicole Jerabek
Engine 6 ∙ Tigers ∙ adopted by Kathy Oberling Family
Engine 9 ∙ Ladder 6 ∙ Dragon Fighters ∙ adopted by Debi Jerabek
Engine 16 ∙ Ladder 7 ∙ We Can Do That ∙ adopted by Elsa Mosco
Engine 24 ∙ Ladder 4 ∙ Pride of Midtown ∙ adopted by Broddus & Dottie Floyd
Engine 28 ∙ Ladder 11 ∙ Pride of Lower East Side ∙ adopted by Sylla Sheppard-Hanger
Engine 59 ∙ Ladder ∙ Harlem Zoo ∙ adopted by Stacey Miller
Squad 1 ∙ adopted by Eric C. Cristina, DMD
Engine 71 ∙ Ladder 55 ∙ adopted by Karen Venable
Engine 201 ∙ Can Do ∙ Emerald Isle; adopted by Mynou De Mey
Engine 202 Ladder 101 ∙ Red Hook Raiders ∙ adopted by Paula Warren
Engine 205 Ladder 118 ∙ Fire Under the Bridge ∙ adopted by Chuck Woodfield/Unity Wilmington
Engine 207 Ladder 110 ∙ Tillery Street Tigers ∙ adopted by Jeralyn Burke
Engine 226 ∙ adopted by Diane Mikelonis/Family
Engine 228 ∙ Wild West Boys ∙ adopted by RESTA (Alaska)
Engine 235 ∙ Eye of Bedstuy ∙ adopted by Sandi Lundburg/Family of Tropic Ice
Engine 242 ∙ Guardians of the Narrows ∙ adopted by Carrie Boyles
Engine 278 ∙ adopted by Eileen Christina/Kneading Wellness
Engine 240 ∙ Battalion 48 ∙ The Roadrunners ∙ adopted by Jenifer Gerlitz and Family
Engine 284 ∙ Ladder 149 ∙ Castle on the Hill ∙ adopted by Christa Maria
This is the description of the 2001 program: Born out of the need to help with healing our heroes, this program was created by the United Aromatherapy Effort, Inc (UAE). Soon after the tragedy, it was brought to our attention that little importance has been given to the respiratory health of those FDNY who worked for months without respirators in Ground Zero. Many already suffer respiratory problems (called the WTC cough), which can become chronic and long term if not addressed. The rubble of the WTC as well as the landfill sites are now constantly tested for levels of asbestos, PCBs, dioxin, mercury, etc. as the ground is still toxic, though the air may appear fine. The major problem is the dust that was breathed in the first month at the WTC, as these men desperately searched for survivors, without wearing respirators. They have still had details at ground zero and the landfill, 12 to 18 hours a day, and rotate out back to stations on, their supplemental work, their own families, their lost brothers’ families, the list goes on. On top of the stress of the aftermath of this tragedy, and the jobs still at hand, these men need help that we can provide.
After working closely with the firefighters for two weeks during the recent holidays, Sylla began coordinating the following Adopt a Station Program. “I found out how it really is there in the stations- they live there yet they must buy and prepare their own food, they supply and maintain their own uniforms, they furnish, repair, and maintain the station, all on their own money, some of the lowest salaries around (starting pay is 29000/yr in NY!). I learned who these men really are- many wanted to do this since childhood and could not do anything else, and they put up with the low pay, supplementing with other jobs to support their families to be in this special brotherhood. I learned how they are beginning to suffer with diminished lung capacity, congestion, lung irritation. Over 700 are on medical leave with asthma. In addition, the anxiety is catching up with them and manifesting psychological effects such as insomnia and panic attacks. This is where we come in.”
What we propose thus far is sponsors donate $500 which should cover most of the initial supplies, depending on how many are in the station, and costs for the initial setup and subsequent follow up. Sponsors can begin with $250 and provide the rest later as we determine costs. The initial setup will provide one or two vaporizers, a professional diffuser, 16 oz. of a respiratory essential and assorted relaxing/uplifting oils to get them started with aromatherapy. We include a timer for the diffuser and plug-ins for small rooms. We will also provide a separate kit with blends, personal air purifier, dry skin cream, etc. for each man to use at home as well. A big problem besides respiratory distress is cracked dry skin and sore muscles from months on the “bucket brigade”. We can help with that too. Sponsors are encouraged to provide other items as well.
Therefore, we desperately need help with this in the way of sponsors that wish to adopt a station. There are over 300 stations in NYC total, but we will start with the ones from lower Manhattan and Brooklyn, and ones we know and have worked in, and any others that are in serious need as we are led to them. You can request one if you have a connection. The Sponsors that adopt may get T-Shirt/hat/badges from that station (whatever we can purchase for you), and we will send still shots and a video of them being set up with their gifts. You can also provide other things for them they may need- you can find out as you get to know them, or you could provide for all stations; for instance, the Alaska team is sending out salmon! You will then be in touch with these awesome guys -many stations have computers so email is possible. Plus, if you ever visit you will be treated like royalty, fed better than you’ve eaten in a while, and just get to know how warm and wonderful it is there in their “home”! Most of all you will be helping our heroes in a very special and unique way at a time when they need it.