Mayor Michael Nutter was a special guest at the University of Pennsylvania Division of Public Safety’s (DPS) spring Commendation Ceremony on April 1. He was there to present Penn with the city’s inaugural Hero of Philadelphia Award.
Penn’s Executive Vice President Craig Carnaroli and Maureen S. Rush, the vice president for public safety and superintendent of Penn Police, accepted the award on behalf of Penn President Amy Gutmann and the University at the biannual Commendation Ceremony held at Claire Fagin Hall on Penn’s campus.
Nutter remarked on Penn’s dedication as a valued partner in the area of public and fire safety, saying that city officials are grateful for Penn’s “incredible leadership and valued service making not only the University at Pennsylvania safer, but also the City of Philadelphia.”
He presented Carnaroli and Rush with a plaque reading, “The Citizens for Fire Prevention Committee 2014 Hero of Philadelphia Award is presented to Dr. Amy Gutmann and the University of Pennsylvania, in honor of your commitment to your fellow Philadelphians and in appreciation of your desire to save lives, reduce injuries, and prevent property damage from fire throughout the City of Philadelphia, thank you for being a hero of Philadelphia, thank you for your generosity.”
Nutter further remarked on the University’s service to the community in support of the Philadelphia Police and Fire Departments as well as the Philadelphia Police Foundation and the Police Athletic League and its value to the region in providing economic opportunity and services, including programming and support of the Penn Alexander School. He noted in particular the assistance provided by Penn and DPS in hosting the funeral service for fallen Philadelphia Police Sgt. Robert Wilson III, in March.
The commendation event was conducted jointly by DPS with the Undergraduate Assembly and the Graduate and Professional Students Assembly, which gave out five public safety awards.
DPS honored 14 Penn Police sergeants, detectives, and officers, and their Philadelphia Police counterparts for their work, and presented commendation letters to eight dispatchers and supervisors with Penn Communications Command-Control. Letters of recognition were also presented to Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney Yvonne Ruiz and Philadelphia Assistant District Attorney Mark Winter.
Eugene Janda, chief of Fire and Emergency Services at Penn, presented commendations to Eric Schelter, assistant professor of chemistry, and doctoral student Walter Dorfner for their rapid response that prevented the spread of a fire in the Vagelos Labs.
The 2015 John A. Cook Award was presented to Trish Williams, Du Bois College House dean, for her efforts in fire safety education. Janda also recognized the work of 20 seniors who are members of the student-run Medical Emergency Response Team.
Penn Chaplain Charles Howard gave the Benediction, which brought the ceremony to a close.