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NYC Health + Hospitals Environmental Services Employee Saves Three Lives on Staten Island

Hailed as a hero for quick thinking and fast action in rescuing neighbors from a house fire

Jan 09, 2017

New York, NY

Delroy Lewis, an environmental services worker at NYC Health + Hospitals/Sea View, has saved the lives of three neighbors, including two children, threatened by a fire on Staten Island.
Mr. Lewis was returning home from work in the late afternoon on January 3 when he noticed flames in the front window of a housing complex in his North Shore neighborhood.  Pushing his way inside, he caught sight of two small children huddled in a far corner of a smoke-engulfed studio apartment.  Mr. Lewis worked his way to the children and carried them to safety outside.
He then put himself at risk a second time. He battled thickening black smoke to climb a stairway to rescue a third endangered neighbor. He helped the woman downstairs and out of harm’s way.
“Maybe God sent me to be in the right place at the right time,” Mr. Lewis said. “I don’t know how I got those doors open.”
Thanks to Mr. Lewis’s intervention, the children and Ms. Wanda Armstrong are safe, with the American Red Cross providing emergency housing and financial assistance to residents of the destroyed building.
Delroy Lewis has been an employee of NYC Health + Hospitals, the nation’s largest public health care delivery system, for nearly 24 years. He is proud of the work he does at NYC Health + Hospitals/Sea View—a post-acute long-term care and skilled nursing facility—where each day he cleans the bedrooms and bathrooms of patients with dementia. He knows all the residents on the floor he’s responsible for by name and understands how much they appreciate the care he takes to ensure that they can enjoy a clean, safe, and well-maintained home.
“Delroy Lewis is a soft-spoken, hard-working, reliable employee, who plays an important role in ensuring the high quality of life we provide our residents,” said Angelo Mascia, CEO at NYC Health + Hospitals/Sea View. “While we’ve always thought the world of him, these acts of heroism demonstrate that he’s not just a great employee. He’s a hero! His co-workers and I are proud to work with him.”
A native of Jamaica, Mr. Lewis immigrated to the USA in 1985 along with many members of his family. “We are so grateful for the opportunity that America gave us,” he said, “and we have made good use of that opportunity.”  He worked his way up from an initial part-time position at Sea View to become a departmental team leader, as well as a past president of his Union’s Local DC 37’s Chapter.
Delroy Lewis considers his life-saving actions simply an extension of the values that have guided him on the job: “At Sea View,” he says, “we are like a family. We are New Yorkers showing that we still care, we are still loving, and blessing another with our concern for each other.”
NYC Health + Hospitals/Sea View was recently recognized – along with NYC Health + Hospitals/Gouverneur – as among the best nursing homes in the country, according to U.S. News & World Report‘s analysis for 2016-2017. The rankings are based on consistently high quality of care, safety, staffing, and rehabilitation services. Since 2008, Sea View has also been awarded the best “5 out of 5 star” rating by the US Department of Health + Human Services’ Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services.