Six FDNY members who died last year of 9/11-related illnesses...

Six FDNY members who died last year of 9/11-related illnesses were among the 10 first responders whose names were added Tuesday to the EMS Tree of Life Memorial in Albany. Credit: NYS Dept of Health

The names of six FDNY members and four other first responders statewide who died in 2021 were added Tuesday to the EMS Tree of Life Memorial in Albany

Among the six New York City first responders honored — all of whom died of 9/11-related illnesses — were two Long Islanders and the first Hispanic in a senior EMS position.

The four others honored were EMS workers upstate. Three died of COVID-19 and one from a medical episode, officials said.

“The New York EMS providers we lost during the last year dedicated themselves to saving lives and to serving their communities,” New York State Health Commissioner Mary T. Bassett said. “They are the embodiment of the word ‘hero.’ We honor their great sacrifice, selfless commitment, and sense of duty in the face of danger.”

The FDNY EMS members added to the wall were among the first responders on the ground after the attacks:

Assistant Chief Alvin Suriel, 52, a 32-year EMS veteran, and the first Hispanic appointed to assistant chief of EMS operations and chief of field operations in 2019, died Dec. 7, 2021.

Lt. John Patrick Raftery III, 50, a Seaford resident who served in all five boroughs during his 28 years of service. He died on Dec. 27, 2021.

Lt. Paige Humphries had served New York City, including at Station 16, since being appointed an EMT in 1974. He died on Feb. 7, 2021.

Capt. Charles Harris, of Lindenhurst, had served New York City since starting his career as an EMT in 1992. He was promoted to the rank of captain in 2013. He died on Oct. 23, 2021.

Stephenson McCoy had served New York City for more than 26 years at Station 22. He died on Aug. 6, 2021.

Mark A. Weiner, 55, had been an emergency medical technician with the FDNY at Station 43. He died Sept. 23, 2021.

Following Suriel’s death, then-FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said: “He saved an untold number of lives in his time as an EMT and paramedic, and through his inspirational leadership in our bureau of EMS. He was there for New Yorkers on Sept. 11, he was instrumental in our department’s extraordinary response to the COVID-19 pandemic, and he administered outstanding care to every single patient who ever called for his help.”

The others honored at the ceremony at the Lewis A. Swyer Theatre at The Egg in Albany were:

Ian Cooperstein, an emergency medical technician in Sullivan County who was most recently employed as the deputy director of operations for Mobilmedic EMS. He died Sept. 23, 2021 of COVID-19.

Anthony Maggio, who joined the Ridgewood Volunteer Ambulance at the age of 17. He was a retired NYPD officer, a member of the Fraternal Order of Police in upstate Monroe, and a volunteer EMT with Woodbury Community Ambulance. He died on Jan. 28, 2021 of COVID-19.

Daryl Tombs had been a nearly 30-year employee of Corning Ambulance, holding nearly all positions over his career. He also was a member of Bath Ambulance. He died Jan. 16, 2021 of COVID-19.

Joseph Zask was a volunteer member of the Stony Point Ambulance Corps and the Cornwall Volunteer Ambulance. He died Sept. 25, 2021 of cardiac arrest while on duty.

“It is an honor to pay tribute to those who gave their lives in the line of duty,” said Kristin Proud, acting executive deputy commissioner of the New York Department of Health. “Their selflessness and service will not be forgotten and the contributions they’ve made will live on and inspire the communities they love. We also recognize and honor the family members, friends and colleagues of these first responders, who have no doubt endured the most pain and grief, and are willing to share the memory of their loved ones with us all.”

The families of each fallen member were presented with a ceremonial flag at the end of the ceremony, which included an honor guard and the EMS Pipes and Drums.

Among the noted speakers, New York State Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Services Commissioner Jackie Bray told those gathered to honor the fallen: “New York State has the greatest first responders in the world — and the bedrock of that is EMS … This has been a heavy couple of years. New York State could not be New York State without your loved ones.”

Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland. The conversation continues on newsday.com/nextli where we invite Long Islanders to share their experiences on this looming crisis of changing weather patterns, flooding, shoreline protection, home buyouts and more to find potential solutions for the region’s future.

Paying the Price: Long Island's stormy future Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland.

Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland. The conversation continues on newsday.com/nextli where we invite Long Islanders to share their experiences on this looming crisis of changing weather patterns, flooding, shoreline protection, home buyouts and more to find potential solutions for the region’s future.

Paying the Price: Long Island's stormy future Newsday Live and nextLI present a conversation with experts on the impact of powerful storms and rising insurance costs on Long Island hosted by NewsdayTV Anchor/Reporter Macy Egeland.

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