After being stabbed outside an EMS station in Queens on Thursday afternoon, a seasoned emergency medical worker died, according to authorities.
Photo by Twitter/@NYPDnews
Lieutenant Alison Russo, a 25-year veteran, was named as the victim. Acting Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh stated during a press conference at Mount Sinai Queens hospital on Thursday evening that she was "stabbed numerous times in a savage and entirely unprovoked attack." An FDNY official verified Russo's death as the first on-duty death of an EMT in five years.
Her age was not disclosed by authorities.
According to NYPD Chief James Essig, the attack happened at 2:15 p.m. outside the Astoria EMS station on 20th Avenue and 41st Street. Authorities said Russo was about a half block away from the station when she was accosted by a guy brandishing a knife and stabbed many times throughout her body.
According to investigators, Russo was obtaining lunch while wearing her uniform at the time. She was taken to Mount Sinai Queens after the incident, where she was pronounced dead.
Mayor Eric Adams, who addressed the media solemnly during a press conference Thursday evening, was briefed about the situation shortly after it occurred and was afterwards sent to the hospital.
"They are constantly on call, as are all of our first responders," Adams told reporters. "She was there on purpose. And, whatever the cause, she should not have been slain in this manner."
Essig stated that police apprehended a 34-year-old guy who was identified at the site by two eyewitnesses. The suspect had escaped from a residential building. According to Essig, he was finally arrested with the assistance of hostage negotiators.
Russo was one of the EMS employees that responded to the World Trade Center after the September 11th attacks and was recognized for her bravery, according to Kavanagh.
Russo was described as a "wonderful guy" by Vincent Variale, president of Uniformed EMS Officers Union Local 3621, in a statement released on Thursday.
"This heinous conduct indicates that EMS officers face the same dangers as other first responders but do not receive the same credit," Variale added. "EMS personnel do not take vacations; they are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to assist save lives." They are the only first responders that respond solely on their own. There is no driver, no companion, no helper, only a strong dedication to help the people in times of need."
The organization recognized Russo for her devotion and bravery over decades on the job, according to Henry Garrido, executive director of District Council 37, New York City's largest public employee union with 150,000 members and 89,000 retirees.
"In the name of public service, our members embark on incredibly demanding duties that all too frequently put them in danger in the line of duty," Garrido added.