A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from January 12, 2019
New York’s Best (EMS paramedics and EMTs)

The departments of New York City have several famous superlative nicknames:

FINEST—Police Department (NYPD)
BRAVEST—Fire Department (FDNY)
STRONGEST—Sanitation Department (DSNY)
BOLDEST—Corrections Department (NYCD)
BEST—Fire Department Bureau of Emergency Medical Services (FDNY EMS)
PROUDEST—Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC)

“New York’s Best” refers to the EMTs and paramedics of the Fire Department’s Bureau of Emergency Medical Services. “Hundreds of cops, fire fighters and EMS workers - collectively New York’s Best” was printed in Newsday (Long Island, NY) on June 8, 1993, but it’s not clear that this refers to just the EMS workers. “The police are New York’s Finest, the firefighters are New York’s Bravest and the paramedics and EMT are New York’s Best!” was printed in the Daily News (New York, NY) on February 3, 1997. “EMS drivers and paramedics : simply ‘New York’s Best’” was posted on the Straight Dope Message Board on March 3, 2004.


8 June 1993, Newsday (Long Island, NY), “Anything Goes Fix U.S. immigration practices,” pg. 52:
Hundreds of cops, fire fighters and EMS workers - collectively New York’s Best - performed with courage and professionalism Sunday when they rescued some 330 illegal Chinese immigrants from the freighter that ran On the beach aground off the Rockaway peninsula. Within minutes of learning of the predawn accident, New York’s Best pulled hundreds from the rough surf, treated some for hypothermia and provided on-the-spot English-Chinese translations.

3 February 1997, Daily News (New York, NY), “Voice of the People,” pg.26, col. 4:
The police are New York’s Finest, the firefighters are New York’s Bravest and the paramedics and EMT are New York’s Best! God bless, and thank you all.
John Dunderman (From Dumont, NJ.—ed.)

Straight Dope Message Board
New Yorks’s Finest, Bravest . . . what else is on the list?
x-ray vision
03-03-2004, 10:22 AM
Corrections Officers : “New York’s Boldest”
TLC Enforcement Officers : “New York’s Proudest”
EMS drivers and paramedics : simply “New York’s Best”.

30 June 2005, US Fed News Service (Washington, DC), “Mayor Bloomberg, Fire Commissioner Scoppetta prisde over graduation ceremony for 119 new emergency medical technicians, 44 paramedics”:
“Today’s new EMTs and Paramedics are embarking on some of the most important and satisfying careers in the City,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Our first responders put themselves in dangerous situations day in and day out in order to save lives and come to the aid of their fellow New Yorkers. I congratulate this latest class of New York’s Best and I am confident that the will serve the City with honor and dedication.”

Google Books
The Downwind Walk:
A Usar Paramedic’s Experiences After the Terrorist Attacks on September 11, 2001

By Steve Kanarian
Bloomington, IN: AuthorHouse
2012
Pg. 32 (photo caption):
“New York’s Best”
Lieutenant Rich Cestaro and EMT Bobby Brown, NYC EMS Special Operations Division, with the Twin Towers in the skyline before 9/11

Google Groups: alt.usage.english
New York’s boldest
Duggy
5/19/11
(...)
Members of the FDNY have the nickname “New York’s Bravest”.
Members of the FDNY EMS have the nickname “New York’s Best”.

Twitter
Alan Cordova
@alancordova
NYC Superlatives: “Finest"=NYPD “Bravest"=FDNY “Strongest"=Sanitation “Boldest"=Corrections “Proudest"=TLC & Bridge/Tunnel Authty “Best"=EMS
8:06 PM - 17 Jan 2012

Twitter
Hawkeye
@demonchild7289
Tonight made me realize why I’m one of new york’s best #emt #ilovemyjob
12:44 AM - 10 Jul 2013

Twitter
Darren
@DiorDarren
Ny Strongest -Sanitation
Ny Finest.  - Police
Ny Boldest. - Correction
Ny Bravest.  - Firefighter
Ny Best.  - Ems
7:00 AM - 22 Jan 2014

Twitter
joinFDNY
@joinFDNY
Did you hear? Our #EMT exam filing period is now open. Join New York’s Best today! http://on.nyc.gov/29srARG
5:05 PM - 6 Jul 2016 from Brooklyn, NY

Twitter
♠️Jonathan ♠️
@Jay_Vizzy
I get processed into the FDNY EMS tomorrow morning. Honored to become part of New York’s Best.
11:24 PM - 11 Oct 2018

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityWorkers/People • Saturday, January 12, 2019 • Permalink