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Public Employee Press: PEP Talk

Locals 1506 and 1508 Queens cleanup

All hands ready as Parks Workers clean up after storm

Photo: Ibn Mann

A crew of Climbers and Pruners Local 1506 and their Parks Supervisors in Local 1508 cleared away a tree that crushed the roof of a house in Flushing, Queens in October. The crew was first to respond and clean up after high winds took down the aged tree and powerlines in the leafy neighborhood.

The Department of Parks and Recreation dispatched its Delta Force of Climbers and Pruners in response to the disaster that led officials to close streets and block access to the neighborhood. “It’s all hands on deck,” said Parks Supervisors Local 1508 President Mike Zeno who works out of the Parks Forestry in Queens. “Whenever there’s a tree problem, we are the first ones called. We clear the way for Fire, Police, and Sanitation department personnel. We do what they cannot. No other agency does what we do.”

William Conlon and his team of Climbers used their physical strength and knowledge, and oversized chainsaws, bucket trucks, log loaders, and high-powered wood chippers to remove the felled tree that damaged the two-story house. “Only Climbers and Pruners are prepared for this job,” said Ibn Mann, Local 1506 president. “When natural disasters and emergencies involving down trees and powerlines threaten New Yorkers’ safety, the city relies on us.”