Legislator Steven J. Flotteron along with representatives of Teamsters Local 237 Long Island Division recognized member Kevin Ouwerkerk for his outstanding duty of selfless determination and bravery while on the job.
Recovery worker Ouwerkerk was performing his daily rounds in a residential neighborhood when something went terribly wrong. After emptying a can of trash into the Town of Islip garbage truck, the load exploded on contact and fire began to consume the truck. Setting aside his own safety, he quickly drove the blazing truck as far away from nearby houses. Making sure the area was clear, he dumped the flaming load, got out of the truck and called 911.
It was later discovered that someone had dumped gunpowder in the garbage. Thanks to Mr. Ouwerkerk’s decisive action, the truck did not explode. He not only averted serious harm and destruction to human life, he also saved Islip Recovery’s truck; and
Mr. Ouwerkerk has been employed in Recovery since 2003. In addition to serving as a Lieutenant and Captain with the Islip Fire Department, he is a member of the Town of Islip Hazmat Team.