At her funeral on Wednesday, Alison Russo-Elling, a New York City Fire Department EMS lieutenant and Huntington resident, will be posthumously promoted to captain, the FDNY announced.
Mourners gathered for Russo-Elling’s wake in Commack, where she grew up, on Monday and Tuesday. The funeral, which will include her “Celebration of Life” ceremony and posthumous promotion, will be held Wednesday, Oct. 5 at the Tilles Center for Performing Arts on the LIU Post campus in Brookville.
“Alison Russo was everything we look for in a leader in our department,” said Acting FDNY Commissioner Laura Kavanagh. “She responded to thousands of emergencies, mentored many new EMTs and paramedics, cared deeply for the communities she served, and set an incredible example for others at Station 49 and at every station she called home throughout her outstanding career.
“This posthumous promotion is a sign of our deep respect and admiration for all the courageous and selfless work she did throughout her career,” she added. “We will never forget her.”
Russo-Elling, a 25-year veteran of the department, was killed in an unprovoked attack on Sept. 29 while on duty and buying food near 20th Ave. and Steinway St. in Queens, a half a block from her assigned station. The 61-year-old was stabbed multiple times at about 2:10 p.m., transported to Mount Sinai Queens Hospital in critical condition, and died of her injuries at the hospital. According to the FDNY, she is the 1,158th FDNY member to die in the line of duty.
The man accused of her killing, 34-year-old Peter Zisopoulos, was escorted out of the New York City Police Department’s 114th Precinct in shackles on Sept. 30 and taken to a hospital for evaluation, according to a spokesperson for the Queens district attorney’s office.