Watch | Inside the NYPD's Elite Emergency Service Unit

Monday, January 09, 2012

An ESU officer training at Floyd Bennett Field, Brooklyn (Jennifer Hsu/WNYC)

On any given day in New York City, someone could fall onto the subway tracks, a potential jumper could be spotted on a highrise or a wild animal could get loose on the streets. For jobs that require highly specialized skill, the NYPD calls in its elite Emergency Service Unit: a group of 366 officers who last year responded to more than 220,000 jobs.

All ESU officers are trained in search and rescue, SCUBA diving, building collapse and heavy weapons and hazardous materials containment. They lift subway trains, remove roofs from car wrecks and counsel emotionally disturbed individuals out of dangerous situations.

"Our miscellaneous assignments may seem extraordinary to some people," said lieutenant Larry Serras, a 17-year veteran of the unit who helped rescue survivors from the recent helicopter crash in the East River. "But to the guys in the ESU, it's just another day at work." 

VIDEO: Go behind-the-scenes with ESU.


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Comments [3]


Very interesting subject, thanks.

Jan. 09 2012 07:05 PM
Bob from the Bronx

The Emergency Services Unit provides essential rescue services in many critical situations. However, the reporter overlooked another part of their job. Emergency Services evolved out of what was previously the TPF (tactical police force) which originaly was known as the "riot squad." The umentioned part of their work includes using the tactical equipment, contained in their trucks, such as tear gas, shotguns, assalt rifles, etc.

Jan. 09 2012 01:47 PM
allison from Midtown

Great story!

Question: What is an 'emergency psychological technician' and how can I get one to show up at my house?

Jan. 09 2012 12:41 PM

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