Happy Mother’s Day! On this special Sunday, we’re pausing to pay tribute to Deputy Assistant Chief Denise Werner for serving as an inspiration on and off the job to her daughters Resource Coordination Center EMT Kristine Howe and Station 32 Paramedic Kimberly Werner.
Thirty-five years ago, Chief Werner made the commitment to serve our city as a first responder. That decision, she noted, is one of many that she’s most proud of because helping others in such a unique way is rewarding. She’s now leading our Emergency Medical Dispatch, which serves as a major component in our Department’s prompt response to thousands of medical emergencies each day across the city.
“I’m proud to be working here every day and I’m astounded by how much the members of Emergency Medical Dispatch step-up. They do what they can to meet our staffing needs and they really go above and beyond day after day to help the city,” the Chief said. “I appreciate working with our members and helping the Department save lives and it’s a huge team effort that happens here.”
And her love for EMS and helping the FDNY perform at its best has been passed down to her daughters Kristine and Kimberly. She also has a daughter named Karen who works in the finance profession.
“Ever since I was little a girl, I was always around EMS and I remember my mom driving the ambulance all the time. Seeing things like that made me take an interest in this job at a young age and I just always knew I would work here like her,” Kristine said.
“My mom really inspired me to join this Department and it was always something we talked about at the dinner table growing up. After my sister joined, I would listen to her and my mom talk about how they loved working here and I kind of just grew into this career and now I’m here helping people like them and it definitely feels like one big family when you work here,” added Kimberly, who was promoted to her current rank this past November. “My mom has always been the person I look up to and I love her very much.”
Like many families around our city, the Werners are also incorporating social distancing in their celebration today. It’s a bit different from their traditional gathering, but as a family they plan to make the best of it because remaining healthy and safe is priority.
“We usually get together and have dinner at my mom’s house to celebrate, but that’s not happening this year, so we’re video chatting,” Kristine explained. “It’s a day of appreciation for my mom and we will make it work together and still celebrate her together.”
The FDNY reminds New Yorkers to continue to practice social distancing each and every day. Please follow recommendations set forth by the New York City Department of Health and stay at home as much as you can. For more information on how to help keep you and your fellow New Yorkers healthy during this time, visit nyc.gov/coronavirus and text COVID to 692-692 for updates from New York City Emergency Management.