FDNY assistant chief is 264th member to die of World Trade Center-related cancer

NEW YORK (WABC) -- An assistant chief with the FDNY died on Tuesday due to World Trade Center-related cancer.

Assistant Chief of EMS Alvin Suriel, a 32-year veteran of Emergency Medical Service, is the 264th member of the FDNY to die of WTC-related illness.

He was 52 years old.

As a paramedic on September 11, 2001, Suriel responded from the EMS Academy at Fort Totten in a convoy of FDNY EMS members to the World Trade Center. He spent many days at the site, taking part in the department's World Trade Center rescue and recovery efforts.

Suriel most recently served as Assistant Chief of EMS Operations - the first Hispanic member ever appointed to the rank. He was promoted to the position in May 2019.

"Al Suriel spent three decades providing pre-hospital emergency medical care throughout our city. 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," said Commissioner Daniel Nigro. "He was there for New Yorkers on September 11th, 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. His dedication to duty was immeasurable and his loss is a painful blow to our entire Department."

Chief Suriel is survived by his wife and two daughters.

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