Local PEP Officer Wins Accolades For 9/11
Two who have become intertwined are Parks Enforcement Patrolman Eugene Gee, an Arverne resident who was assigned to Battery Park on that day and Bear, a search and rescue dog who died shortly after its work at Ground Zero.
The two have been immortalized in the book, “Bear: The Heart of A Hero,” by the dog’s handler, Captain Scott Shields.
Gee was on his way from Rockaway to work that day when he saw a plane strike the North Tower of the World Trade Center.
He spent the day escorting people away from the area.
“It was the most hectic day of my life,” Gee told The Wave last week. Everything was chaos and people were looking for direction.”
During the day, Gee met Bear and began to work with the rescue dog and his handler, digging through the rubble, looking in vain for survivors.
“I stayed on until the end,” Gee says, adding that the rescue attempt quickly became a recovery event instead.
Shields, who was the Director of Marine Safety for the New York Harbor and commanded the first search and rescue efforts on 9/11, has nothing by praise for Gee.
“Gee was a key person in operations to continue life safety at the site and he had to make critical decisions involving the lives of thousands of people,” Shields wrote. “He was involved in active support to the FDNY and he was outstanding in the days following September 11.”
For his activities on that day, Gee was awarded with an “Extraordinary Service to Humanity” award by the Bear Search and Rescue Foundation.