BROOKVILLE, N.Y. - Thousands of mourners came to the Tilles Center for Performing Arts in Brookville on Long Island for a solemn service honoring 61-year-old FDNY EMS Lieutenant Alison Russo, who was stabbed to death last week in an unprovoked attack.
"Her job was her life," said her friend Trish Schmeiser.
The 25-year veteran's life was tragically cut short on the job when she was stabbed to death outside her EMS station in Astoria, Queens, last week. Peter Zisopoulos, 34, of Queens, is facing murder and weapons charges.
The attack left a gaping hole in the hearts of those who knew and loved her.
"That man murdered my daughter, and she would be the first to come to his aid if he ever needed help," said her father, Frank Fuoco.
Russo was posthumously promoted as city officials promised to turn pain into purpose.
"I recommit myself to Alison I’m committed to this," Mayor Eric Adams said. "We can’t bring her back today but we’re promoting her to the rank of captain."
"She was a woman who would answer over 25,000 911 calls in the course of her career and still find time to mentor, teach, train and help members of EMS across the entire city and in her hometown," Acting Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said.
Russo was described as a rock and mother figure to not only her daughter Danielle but to all those she mentored. Her brother and parents are distraught. Her daughter delivered a message of hope.
"Do not let your thoughts be clouded by this act of sudden trauma," her daughter Danielle Fuoco said. "You need to replace it with honoring my mom for the hero she was … and is."
Hundreds of uniformed personnel stand at attention as a motorcade heads to the funeral for EMS Lt. Alison Russo-Elling in Brookville, N.Y., Wednesday, Oct. 5, 2022. (FOX 5 NY/Jodi Goldberg)