May 21, 2019
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Honors Seven Fallen EMS Providers Who Served in the Aftermath of the 9/11 Terrorist Attacks

TOP Governor Cuomo Honors Seven Fallen EMS...

Today's Ceremony Coincides with National EMS Week - Honoring the Dedicated Professionals Who Serve as EMS Providers


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today recognized seven emergency medical service providers who died as a result of injuries or illnesses sustained while performing their duties after the 9/11 terrorist attack. The honorees - William Ryan, Joeddy Friszell, Felipe Torre, Joseph Rodriguez, Walter Nelson, Martha Stewart and Dr. Michael Guttenberg — were added to the Tree of Life EMS Memorial today, at the annual ceremony on the Empire State Plaza in Albany. 


"New Yorkers are fortunate to be served by the brave men and women who provide emergency medical services and who respond to situations day and night, often placing their own safety at risk to serve their communities," Governor Cuomo said. "We stand together to honor these selfless emergency service providers who ultimately gave their lives by running towards danger on September 11, 2001."


Governor Cuomo recently called on the federal government for increased funding for victims still grappling with health effects from 9/11.  


Today's ceremony was attended by Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul and EMS professionals and first responders from across New York State. 

"Whenever we call on them, our emergency medical service professionals selflessly protect the lives of New Yorkers across the state," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul, who spoke at today's event. "We honor the courage, dedication, and commitment of all EMS providers, and remember those who lost their lives in the line of duty or as a result of being exposed to 9/11 contaminants during their service. Their bravery and many contributions will not be forgotten."


Each year New York State honors the brave men and women who make the ultimate sacrifice while serving their fellow New Yorkers. This year's honorees join 75 other EMS professionals represented on the memorial.

Those honored today are:



Date of Death

William Ryan

Bay Community VAC

August 19, 2018

Joeddy E. Friszell


March 5, 2018

Felipe A. Torre


October 10, 2018

Joseph A. Rodriguez


November 23, 2018

Walter J. Nelson


May 2, 2014

Martha Stewart


November 18, 2018

Michael G. Guttenberg

Northwell Health Center for EMS

October 17, 2017


Dr. Howard A. Zucker, Commissioner of Health, said, "We are saddened by the loss of these seven courageous emergency services professionals and offer our condolences to their families, friends, and colleagues. We all stand with the fallen, and we thank them for their dedicated service to the community."


EMS professionals in New York State include certified first responders, EMTs, advanced EMTs, and paramedics who provide pre-hospital emergency patient care and transport. New Yorkers are served by nearly 2,000 ambulance and emergency medical response and transportation agencies that provide advanced and basic life support services. 

Contact the Governor's Press Office
Contact the Governor's Press Office