In a heroic rescue attempt, a group of firefighters saved a 7-year-old South Williamsburg boy stuck in a roll-up gate, last month.
Last week, the boy’s family, along with dozens of community members, showed their appreciation to the City’s Bravest in a ceremony at the spot of the near-tragedy, which included new FDNY chief Daniel Nigro.
“Each and every day FDNY members respond to life-threatening emergencies throughout New York City, and we are grateful when communities choose to recognize their professionalism and dedication,” said Commissioner Nigro.
On May 8, shortly after 8 p.m., firefighters responded to an emergency call at 50 Skillman Avenue where the boy, Mendy Gotlieb, had been lifted several feet into the air after being stuck in the gate.
FDNY officials believed at the time that Gotlieb and his friends might have been playing a game that quickly went south with the boy’s head and one arm being lodged in the metal parts of the gate.
Firefighters used various tools to stretch out the metal, with airbags becoming the implements that finally managed to free the trapped boy after about 15 minutes of work by the recuers.
“We have heroes right here in our midst,” said Assemblyman Joe Lentol. “They did in this case what they do best and that is protecting children. There are members of the fire department who would go to the ends of the earth to save a child. These kids learned a tough lesson, and I don’t think they’re going to get involved in the type of activity anymore.”
On Thursday, local electeds, prominent members of the community, and the boy, along with his family gathered to salute the firefighters. The firefighters and the boy were presented with plaques to mark the occasion.
“It is a celebration and recognition of the FDNY’s work when a child’s life was in danger and they responded and the child is back with us fully,” said Rabbi David Niederman, the president of the United Jewish Organizations of Williamsburg and North Brooklyn (UJO).