Deployments

DCS has a chaplain on call twenty four hours a day, seven days a week, and three hundred sixty five days a year: a specialist trained in spiritual response and disaster intervention is always available.

As soon as we become aware of an emergency situation, our lead chaplain is prepared to arrive onsite immediately and/or dispatch another (geographically closer; language appropriate) chaplain or chaplains, as needed. The chaplain remains in the area throughout the emergency situation, working with individuals affected by the event and with other disaster relief professionals. Chaplains may continue to staff a situation over the course of several days or weeks. In the case of a line of duty death or a multiple fatality disaster, DCS often plays an ongoing role at funeral, memorial and other commemorative services.

Orlando Vigil in Ridgewood, Queens

June 16, 2016

DCS chaplains were requested to provide support at a Vigil titled  ”We are Orlando“, for the victims of the June 19th shooting in Orlando. The vigil was attended by members of several different faith groups and took place at All Saints Church in Ridgewood, Queens.

DCS chaplains support The Sandy Monologues in Red Hook, Brooklyn

June 11th & 12, 2016

DCS chaplains were requested to provide support to the Red Hook community at performances of of The Sandy Monologues,  presented by Falconworks Theater Company. The show is an original work using spoken word, song and movement that was inspired by the actual words of Superstorm Sandy survivors, performed by a cast which ranged in age from 11-75 years old. Each performance was followed by a talk-back. DCS chaplains were on hand to provide spiritual support to members of the audience, as well as cast members and staff.

Three-building fire in Mount Vernon, New York

May 27-29, 2016

A three-building fire left over 40 people displaced forty people over the Memorial Day weekend. Residents of the building spent the weekend in a shelter.  DCS chaplains were deployed to provide spiritual care to those affected by the fire.

Apartment building fire in Yonkers, New York

May 20, 2016

An apartment building fire caused 45 people to spend the weekend in a shelter. Residents of the building were families with young children–the youngest being 3 weeks old. DCS chaplains were on hand round the clock during the weekend to provide support for these families.

DCS responds to earthquake in Ecuador

April 22, 2016

A 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Ecuador that killed at least 410 people and injured more than 2,000 emotionally devastated the country and caused enormous damage. DCS chaplains were deployed to support the Ecuadoran community in Queens. Alongside mental health professionals, DCS canvassed several neighborhoods in Queens to assess needs and provide spiritual care.

Fatal Apartment building fire in the Bronx

February 8, 2016

A two-story apartment building fire resulted in three fatalities and several injuries. DCS chaplains were on hand to give spiritual care to the families who lost their loved ones, as well as provide support to the firefighters who responded to the fire.

Six-alarm fire in the Bronx

December 11, 2015

A massive fire tore through a block of homes, leaving 89 people homeless. DCS chaplains were on the scene right away to provide spiritual care to those affected.

Five-alarm fire in the Bronx

November 30,2015

A five -alarm fire destroyed the homes of dozens of families, who found themselves displaced and spending the night in a shelter. DCS chaplains provided comfort for the victims late into the night. They were on hand he following day, as residents entered the building to salvage any remaining belongings.

Eight-alarm fire in Passaic, NJ

October 22, 2012

A fire ripped through a five story apartment building, leaving 96 families displaced. DCS chaplains were requested to provide support at a reception center which was set up for the families.

Fatal Gas Explosion in Brooklyn

October 3, 2013

A gas explosion in a residential building caused two fatalities and several injuries. DCS chaplains arrived on the scene and comforted the families affected over a period of three days and nights, keeping vigil with them overnight and accompanying one family to the office of the Chief Medical Examiner.

Four-alarm fire in the Bronx

September 30, 2015

A heavy fire ripped through and apartment building, displacing 21 families. DCS chaplains provided support to those families who were moved to a shelter and remained with them well into the night, offering spiritual care to those affected.

Amtrak Train Derailment

May 12, 2015

Following the train accident between Philadelphia and New York, Amtrak arranged transportation for the survivors; they travelled by bus to the Amtrak hub at Penn Station in Manhattan.  DCS was present to meet the first survivors and throughout the day as people arrived from Philadelphia.

DCS responds to Nepal earthquake

April 2015

DCS leadership met with leaders in the Nepalese community in Queens to coordinate efforts and offer spiritual care to the community, and DCS chaplains lent support for a local Peace Parade.

 Building Explosion and Fatal Fire, East Village, New York

March 28, 2015

On March 25th a building explosion and fire in four buildings forced hundreds to evacuate their homes. DCS chaplains were on the scene right away, providing spiritual care throughout the night. The next day chaplains were deployed to a Resident Service center, and have been giving support to those affected, especially the families of two missing men. DCS chaplains will continue to provide spiritual care to the community for as long as the need is present.

Mudslide in Yonkers, New York

March 12, 2015

Yesterday afternoon a mudslide in Yonkers, N.Y. forced the evacuation of two large apartment buildings, displacing more than one hundred people. Many of the residents who were forced to leave their homes were senior citizens. DCS chaplains provided spiritual care at a relief center throughout the night. One chaplain accompanied several residents to the local emergency room and stayed with them until they received medical assistance.

Massive Fire in Hempstead, LI

February 21, 2015

A massive fire in an apartment complex led to the evacuation of over two hundred residents, who were taken to a shelter at a local high school. DCS chaplains were on hand to provide support and spiritual care to families and staff around the clock, until the evacuees were able to return to their homes.

 Metro-North/Valhalla train crash

February 4, 2015

Last night DCS chaplains were deployed following the fatal crash of a Metro-North train in Valhalla, New York.  Our chaplains where there shortly after the crash took place, and were there throughout the night, providing spiritual care to families as they awaited information on their loved ones.

 New York City’s first annual Missing Persons Day

November 10, 2014

On November 8, 2014 Disaster Chaplaincy Services participated in New York City’s first Missing Persons Day, partnering with the city’s Office of the Chief Medical Examiner and 17 other agencies.  Twelve DCS chaplains provided spiritual care to the 93 families of the missing who attended the event. Our chaplains also supported members of the staff of the various organizations present.

Fatal four-alarm fire in Hamilton Heights

August 20, 2014

A four-alarm fire broke out in a six-story apartment building causing one fatality, dozens of injuries and nearly 100 displaced residents. DCS chaplains were deployed to provide spiritual care to all those affected by the fire.

 Severe storm and flooding on Long Island

August 15, 2014

A record-breaking storm caused wide-spread flooding, evacuations, and one fatality.  DCS chaplains provided spiritual care to evacuated families at the State Disaster Resource Center.

Fire in Yonkers, NY

A building  fire in Yonkers, NY caused a widespread evacuation dozens of residents.  DCS chaplains were deployed to provide support to the residents at a nearby reception center, and remained there until those affected were moved into temporary housing.

Four-Alarm Fire in Brooklyn

July 5, 2014

A  four-alarm fire in Williamsburg, Brooklyn displaced eleven families. DCS chaplains were deployed to offer support to families who were taken to a nearby shelter.

Fatal airplane crash at Westchester County Airport

July 13, 2014

DCS chaplains were deployed by The  Red Cross following fatal crash of small plane at Westchester County airport.

Five-Alarm Fire on Staten Island

June 6, 2014

A ferocious five-alarm fire on Staten Island injured 34 people — including two children who were tossed from a smoke-filled second-floor window– and quickly spread to two neighboring homes. DCS chaplains were deployed to offer support to families who lost their homes.

 Opening of the 9/11 Memorial Museum: 15-21 May 2014

May 22, 2014

DCS chaplains volunteered during the week-long opening of the 9/11 Memorial Museum and beyond. During 71 of shifts, 38  chaplains offered spiritual care to visitors and staff.
Please click on News and Events to read detailed descriptions of this unique and honored deployment.

East Harlem Building Collapse:

March 14, 2014

Since the collapse of two buildings in East Harlem on March 12, 2014, DCS has deployed more than 25 multi-lingual chaplains to more than eight locations in East Harlem. DCS chaplains will continue to provide spiritual care to those affected by the building collapse as long as the need is present.

MetroNorth train derailment in the Bronx

December 2, 2013
DCS-NY was requested to deploy chaplains in response to the MetroNorth train derailment in the Bronx.There were 4 fatalities and 70 injured, 11 of who were critical.  The chaplains of DCS were immediately on site and at Jefferson High School in the Bronx where a reception center was set up for the families of the deceased and injured. Collaborating closely with Metro-North Railroad representatives and the Red Cross, DCS chaplain’s provided spiritual comfort and emotional relief throughout this disaster.

 Superstorm Sandy:

In the months since Superstorm Sandy, DCS has deployed more than 75 chaplains to 25  locations throughout New York City, Westchester County, Long Island, Bergen County, NJ and Fairfield County, CT.

We continue to work closely with city agencies involved in the response and recovery efforts, as well as local nonprofit organizations.

Local: All Boroughs

Emergency Shelters

As a result of several large scale building vacates, hundreds of New York residents found themselves homeless. Some received little advance warning and opportunity to remove necessary items from their homes or adequately prepare. DCS chaplains were on hand to meet residents as they approached their first night of transition, and for days afterward as many continued to process and make sense of this critical change in their lives.

Local: Bronx

Woodycrest fire
Eight children and an adult were killed in a fire in the Bronx Highbridge neighborhood, near Yankee Stadium. A DCS chaplain from the same region of Africa and fluent in the same language as the immigrant families directly affected, was immediately onsite.

Local: Brooklyn

73rd Street, Bay Ridge
A three-alarm fire roared through a three-story building of 15 residents in Bay Ridge, resulting in the death of two children. It took nearly 140 firefighters more than two hours to bring the fire under control.
Brooklyn & Queens tornado and flooding: This area of NYC was hit by a tornado that has been rated an EF-2 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, with winds between 111 and 135 MPH. Material damage included loss of area homes, destruction of stained glass windows at 4th Avenue Presbyterian Church and 40% deforestation of Leif Ericson Park.

Local: Manhattan

Deutchebank Fire
2 FDNY LODD

Fire Department of NY:
Line of duty deaths emergency spiritual care and memorial attendance.

NY Police Department
Line of duty deaths emergency spiritual care and memorial attendance.

Harlem building explosion
An explosion at a five-story, 20-unit apartment building in Harlem left several people seriously injured, including four children and a firefighter. The explosion sent debris and glass in every direction, causing chaos and confusion for the many people living in the area.

Steam pipe explosion
A steam pipe exploded during rush hour in midtown Manhattan, sending steam, water and debris shooting outward and sending clouds of smoke and dust through Midtown Manhattan at the height of evening rush hour. There were three or four firefighters with minor injuries treated at the scene and 20-odd people, civilians, who were injured, some seriously, some not.

Local: Queens

Far Rockaway fire
A fast-moving 6-alarm fire affecting an apartment building of 129 residents, including 46 children, as well as the wider community of Far Rockaway, Queens.

Queens tornado and flooding:
This area of NYC was hit by a tornado that has been rated an EF-2 on the Enhanced Fujita scale, with winds between 111 and 135 MPH. Material damage included loss of area homes, destruction of stained glass windows at 4th Avenue Presbyterian Church and 40% deforestation of Leif Ericson Park.

Regional

Roscoe flooding
Flood waters swept homes and cars away, ripped up pavement and dumped tons of mud and rocks along an 8-mile stretch of Route 206 from a mile north of Roscoe to Route 30 near the Pepacton Reservoir in the Delaware County Town of Colchester.

National

ARC-GNY Florida Tornado Call Center
Florida Governor Charlie Crist declared a state of emergency in Lake, Seminole, Sumter and Volusia counties following a devastating thunderstorm system and multiple tornadoes. As Red Cross assisted the affected communities, DCS was on hand to provide one-to-one spiritual support for displaced residents, in the moment and as they began the road to recovery.