Annual EMS Recognition Ceremony honors 26 first responders
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- About 160 individuals on Monday sat around tables, indulging in a hearty morning meal at the Staaten in West Brighton. Some were outfitted in Class A attire; others donned their work uniforms. But all were there to honor the outstanding conduct of their colleagues.
In commemorating National EMS Week, the 29th annual Emergency Medical Services Recognition Ceremony — hosted by Borough President Vito Fossella and the Staten Island EMS Task Force — honored 26 EMTs, paramedics, instructors and students in the emergency services community. The event aimed to recognize those who regularly rescue and preserve the lives of Staten Islanders day in and day out.
The camaraderie was palpable, as friends and coworkers shared a laugh prior to the ceremony's commencement. The breakfast banquet came to a halt at the presentation of the colors and the resounding hum of bagpipes. A solemn silence swept the room and Miss Richmond County Madison Gattullo delivered her rendition of the national anthem.
Singing the national anthem is Miss Richmond County Madison Gattullo at the Staten Island EMS Task Force Emergency Medical Services special breakfast and ceremony in their honor during National EMS Week, Monday, May 22, 2023, at LiGreci's Staaten. (Staten Island Advance/Jan Somma-Hammel)
Afterward, Dominick Battinelli, administrative director of EMS Northwell Health CEMS, welcomed FDNY Chaplain Monsignor Jamie Gigantiello for the invocation. Following a moment of prayer, guests lent their ears to Fossella.
"Today is about, yes, recognition, because everybody that gets honored here has done something really significant, but it's about gratitude," Fossella said. "It's the gratitude we have, as a community, for what you do. I’m sure when you started the job many years ago ... you didn't do it for this. You did it because you thought you could make a difference. You did it because you felt some calling, some passion within you, that while life was fleeting you could be there to help save one."
The borough president's comments of gratitude were followed by a word from Dr. Glenn Asaeda, chief medical director of the FDNY, and a keynote address from Chief Michael Fields, chief of EMS, FDNY.
Chief Michael Fields, Chief of EMS, FDNY gives the key note speech at the Emergency Medical Services community special breakfast and ceremony in their honor during National EMS Week, Monday, May 22, 2023, at LiGreci's Staaten. (Staten Island Advance/Jan Somma-Hammel)
"Let us all take a moment to thank these brave men and women for their incredible service and sacrifice, and let us never forget the amazing work that they do every day," Fields said. "Continue to keep up this excellent work, and know that your contributions are greatly appreciated by each and every resident and visitor to this great borough ... The positive impact that you have on the lives of the people that you help can never be summed in any words. Know that this city is thankful for your hard work, dedication and unrelenting commitment."
Fossella and Fields would distribute the awards to all the distinguished honorees before a final benediction from Rabbi Feinstein dismissed the assembly for photographs with loved ones.
"It's an honor, but I don't need a plaque to do my job every day," said Emergency Medical Technician of the Year awardee Daniel Hughes of Volunteer Heart Ambulance. "It's an honor to receive it, but I enjoy what I do every day; I come in to work and do what I got to do."
Photo as Borough President Vito J. Fossella and the Staten Island EMS Task Force recognized the important and heroic works of the Emergency Medical Services community with a special breakfast and ceremony in their honor during National EMS Week, Monday, May 22, 2023, at LiGreci's Staaten. (Staten Island Advance/Jan Somma-Hammel)
LIST OF HONOREES
Frank W. Geib Memorial EMT Student of the Year Award
EMT Instructor of the Year Award
Emergency Medical Technician of the Year Award
Paramedic of the Year
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