My Interview with Assistant Commissioner John Grimm

Hi friends,

Today, I was able to sit down with the Assistant Commissioner for Operations & Urban Search and Rescue Operations from New York City Emergency Management, John Grimm. John has been with NYC Emergency Management for 10 years and works in the Operations Division which includes Watch Command, Field Response and Urban Search and Rescue. John also took me on a tour to see the Emergency Operations Center NYC Emergency Management uses in different emergency situations. Read along to learn more about John and his role here at NYC Emergency Management!


Ready Girl: Hi John! Thanks for interviewing with me today! What are some of the things you do each day at your job?
John: Hi, Ready Girl! Here in the Operations Division we are paying attention to the whole City and everything that is happening in it. Every time we hear about an emergency, we try our best to help fix the problem. There are many different ways we try to help. Watch Command is the first to know what is happening and can make sure the right people are on the way to help. Watch Command monitors all of the fire and police radios for the city.  The Unit operates 24/7! If it is a pretty big emergency, then we can send the Field Response Unit. They will go out to the emergency and help the different agencies such as NYPD and FDNY.
Ready Girl: That is awesome, John! What is your favorite part about working for NYC Emergency Management?
John: We get to help people when they really need it. When an emergency happens, it can really be tough for people. We have a chance to help them and makes things better for them as fast as we possibly can. We all want to make sure people are not affected when a bad incident happens, and some times that is unavoidable. However, we can help through it and make sure they get the help they need.
Ready Girl: What is one thing kids can do if they want to learn more about emergency response?
John: Other than read your blog, I would say get Ready New York guides from their school and check out some of the great programs NYPD and FDNY run. The FDNY have some very cool programs where you can crawl through a “smoke house” to see what it is like in a fire. Not as cool as Ready Girl, but still pretty good.
Ready Girl: That sounds great! What got you interested in emergency response?
John: I thought I could help make a difference. I wanted to do something that focused on helping people and when I learned about NYC Emergency Management, it sounded like a great place for me to do just that.
Ready Girl: What are some of the roles of the Citywide Interagency Coordinators (CIC)?
John: They are in the Field Response Unit. They get to go out to the emergency when it is happening on the street. They have a tough job, it could be the middle of the night, it could be freezing cold, it could be raining hard, it doesn’t matter ― they have to go out and work with the other agencies. They make sure everyone who has to be out there is and they are all working together. Sometimes there are tons of people all from different agencies and it can be very difficult to pull everyone in together and follow one plan. That’s what the CICs do, they work with everyone to make sure we are fixing the problem and helping people affected by the incident.
Ready Girl: Last but not least, what is your favorite type of pizza?
John: Pepperoni. Definitely pepperoni!
Ready Girl: Great pick! I want to thank you and everyone in NYCEM’s Watch Command and Field Response Unit for all of their work keeping the city safe!


Peace and safety,



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