Update 11:07 p.m. An EMS lieutenant from Huntington was stabbed to death Thursday afternoon in Queens, New York City officials said.
Lt. Alison Russo-Elling, a 24-year-veteran of the FDNY, was working at EMS Station 49 in Queens near 20th Avenue and Steinway Street when she was stabbed. She served twice as a captain of the Huntington Community First Aid Squad, and in November would have celebrated her 30th anniversary of service with the squad.
“She was stabbed multiple times in a barbaric and completely unprovoked attack,” FDNY Acting Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said at a news conference, Newsday reported. “Members of EMS serve only to help and save other people’s lives. To be attacked and killed in the course of helping others is both heartbreaking and enraging for our department in ways I cannot describe.”
She was taken in critical condition to Mt. Sinai Queens Hospital, where she died.
Russo-Elling, 61, was appointed to the FDNY as an EMT in March of 1998. She was promoted to paramedic in 2002, and to lieutenant in 2016. She has worked at multiple EMS stations, including Station 20, Station 17, Station 16, Station 45, Queens Tactical Response Group and Station 49.
She was a World Trade Center first responder, aiding in the rescue and recovery efforts. She is the 1,158th member of the department to die in the line of duty.
The New York Daily News reported, “She was rendering aid to patient when an emotionally disturbed relative of the patient stabbed her multiple times, police sources said.”
A suspect was later arrested in an apartment nearby.
She was day captain of Co. 4 from 1997-2001 and again from 2009-2016. She was certified as a crewleader, who directed personnel on emergency calls, an emergency vehicle operator and was a Paramedic able to treat patients with advanced life support (ALS) in the case of cardiac arrest or traumatic injury. In 2017 Allison became an Administrative Member serving on the Review Training Committee, which provided the ambulance crews with information on new procedures and equipment, the QA/QI committee, the uniform committee and the ALS committee.
Gov. Kathy Hochul directed that flags on state buildings be flown at half-staff on Friday in the lieutenant’s honor. Flags should be lowered to half-staff until her funeral service.
“We mourn the loss of Alison Russo-Elling, an EMT lieutenant who was killed while on duty,” Hochul said. “Our hearts are with her family as we honor her life and remember her as a hero. I know all New Yorkers are grateful for her service over more than two decades with FDNY and as a World Trade Center first responder.”
On Facebook, the Huntington Manor Fire Department wrote, “The Huntington Manor Fire Department is saddened to learn of the line of duty death of FDNY Lt Alison Russo. Alison was a local resident and also a long time member and Ex-Captain of the Huntington Community First Aid Squad. Over the years we have worked many scenes with Alison. A great Paramedic and an even better person. Rest in Peace Lt. Russo. Thank you for your service.”
Procession for FDNY EMS lieutenant who was fatally stabbed today leaving mount Sinai hospital in queens headed to the medical examiners office in Manhattan#Procession #FDNY #EMS #lieutenant #today #mount #Sinai #hospital #queens #examiners #office pic.twitter.com/Y9MvUp0zg8
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