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Mayor Bill de Blasio on Wednesday tapped John Scrivani, a former NYPD officer-turned-disaster response official, as the Big Apple’s new emergency management commissioner.
The Staten Island native — a first responder on Sept. 11 who has been working in Virginia — will replace Deanne Criswell after President Biden picked her to run the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
“I’ve seen the worst that can happen, but it’s always brought out the best in us,” Scrivani told reporters during a press briefing at City Hall.
Scrivani most recently worked as a disaster response expert at Virginia’s Department of Transportation — but returned to New York City during the worst days of the coronavirus pandemic last year to help officials set up and manage the emergency morgue built on a pier at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal.
At one point, the lines of mobile freezer trucks set up there along the Brooklyn waterfront held as many as 2,000 bodies.
“Not a lot of places in the world would have the expertise to this. But, unfortunately, New York has a lot of experience with disaster over the years,” he told the Richmond Times-Dispatch in April 2020.
Scrivani spent two decades with the NYPD and was among the legion of first responders who on Sept. 11 rushed to the World Trade Center, where he helped pull a fellow officer from the rubble of the Twin Towers, he told the paper.
He eventually transferred to the Medical Examiner’s Office before moving to Virginia in 2011, seeking a quieter life.
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