New York State Honors Emergency Medical Service Professionals
May 18-24 Designated Emergency Medical Services Week in New York State
ALBANY, N.Y (May 20, 2014) – Hundreds of Emergency Medical Services (EMS) volunteers and professionals were joined today by Lieutenant Governor Robert Duffy, federal, State and local officials, friends, family, and supporters at the Empire State Plaza as New York honored the efforts and sacrifices of EMS members.
The names of twelve EMS providers from the Fire Department of New York City (FDNY) were added to the "Tree of Life" Memorial during a ceremony recognizing those who became ill and passed away after the rescue and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.
"These Emergency Medical Service Professionals made the ultimate sacrifice in selflessly protecting the health of New Yorkers across the state," said Lieutenant Governor Duffy. "These twelve men and women will never be forgotten and their strength in the face of danger serves as an inspiration to us all. Our thoughts and prayers are with each one of their families."
Acting State Health Commissioner Dr. Howard Zucker said, "We owe a debt of gratitude to the EMS community which serves a vital role in protecting the health and safety of all New Yorkers. On this special day we pause and pay tribute to the hard work and sacrifice of the twelve brave men and women whose names will be forever enshrined on the Tree of Life Memorial. Your courage and contributions will not be forgotten."
The twelve EMS professionals who received special honors today were:
- Rubin Berrios, 43, a member of the Fire Department of New York City. Following the attacks on 9/11, Mr. Berrios spent months at the World Trade Center site searching for the remains of victims, including his co-workers.
- Carene Brown, 51, a paramedic with the Fire Department of New York City. Ms. Brown served in Brooklyn for 11 years. Following the attacks on 9/11, Ms. Brown worked many hours on the rescue and recovery efforts at ground zero.
- Michael Cavanagh, 60,a lieutenant with the Fire Department of New York City, worked several hours at ground zero, following the attacks on 9/11.
- Francis Charles, 68, a member of the Fire Department of New York City. On 9/11, Mr. Charles was dispatched to the World Trade Center where he worked countless hours during the rescue and recovery.
- Brian Ellicott,45,an EMS Lieutenant with the Fire Department of New York City. Mr. Ellicott worked many hours during the first two weeks following the attacks on 9/11.
- Anthony Ficara, 53, an EMT with the Fire Department of New York City. Mr. Ficara worked for the FDNY for 23 years before retiring in 2010. Mr. Ficara was among those responding to ground zero on September 11, 2001.
- Rudy Havelka, 72, a paramedic with the Fire Department of New York City. On 9/11, Mr. Havelka was deployed to the World Trade Center site where he worked many long hours and days.
- John McFarland, 51, an Assistant Chief and paramedic with the Fire Department of New York City. Chief McFarland served for more than 28 years and worked long hours on recovery efforts at the World Trade Center.
- Freddie Rosario, 57, an EMT with the Fire Department of New York City. Mr. Rosario's unit was one of the first on the scene of the World Trade Center on 9/11. Mr. Rosario continued to work many long days at ground zero.
- Joseph Schiumo, 47, a member of the Fire Department of New York City. On 9/11, Mr. Schiumo spent countless hours at the World Trade Center site searching for the remains of victims and co-workers.
- Clyde Sealey, 52, a paramedic with the Fire Department of New York City. Mr. Sealey responded to the World Trade Center on 9/11 and worked many long hours during the rescue and recovery efforts.
- John Wyatt, 60, a member of the Fire Department of New York City. Mr. Wyatt worked on the clean-up and recovery efforts at the World Trade Center site in 2001.
With the addition of the names of these twelve individuals, the EMS Memorial now displays the names of 56 EMS professionals who lost their lives in service to others.
There are more than 60,000 Emergency Medical Services professionals in New York State, including certified first responders, EMTs, advanced EMTs, and paramedics, who provide pre-hospital emergency patient care and transport.
New Yorkers are served by nearly 2,000 ambulance and emergency response agencies that provide Advanced Life Support (ALS) or Basic Life Support (BLS) services.
The New York State EMS Memorial Dedication Ceremony is held in conjunction with National EMS Week (May 18-24).