Funeral arrangements set for slain FDNY EMS Lt. Alison Russo-Elling

FDNY EMS Lt. Alison Russo-Elling served the city for 25 years. She was a World Trade Center first responder.

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Saturday, October 1, 2022
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Funeral arrangements have been made for FDNY EMS Alison Russo-Elling, who was stabbed to death in an unprovoked attack in Queens.

ASTORIA, Queens (WABC) -- Funeral arrangements have been made for FDNY EMS Alison Russo-Elling, who was stabbed to death in an unprovoked attack.

The viewing will be held Monday and Tuesday (2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.) at Commack Abbey Funeral Home in Commack, New York.

Russo-Elling's funeral will be held the Tilles Center at 720 Northern Boulevard, Brookville, New York on Wednesday at 11:00 a.m.

The Yankees held a moment of silence before Saturday's game in memory of Russo-Elling.

She was on duty when she was stabbed Thursday afternoon near her station in the Astoria section of Queens, authorities said.

The 61-year-old Russo-Elling was heading to a corner store to get something to eat when Zisopoulos allegedly stabbed her multiple times, police said. She was taken to a nearby hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Police announced Friday that Peter Zisopoulos, 34, was being charged with murder and criminal possession of a weapon in the fatal stabbing of Russo-Elling, a nearly 25-year veteran of the city's fire department who was among the first responders to the World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001.

The motive for the stabbing is under investigation.

Russo-Elling joined the fire department as an EMT in March 1998 and was promoted to paramedic in 2002 before becoming a lieutenant in 2016.

A mother and grandmother, Russo-Elling lived in Huntington on Long Island and had volunteered with the local ambulance corps there.

Acting Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh, who joined Mayor Eric Adams and other officials at a news conference Thursday, said Russo-Elling was cited multiple times for bravery and life-saving work.

"And she was absolutely beloved on this job," Kavanagh said.

Adams, a former police officer whose service in uniform overlapped with Russo-Elling's, said he is very familiar with the work that EMS workers perform.

"Every day, they do their job in a manner in which many of us don't realize how dangerous it is," Adams said. "She was working for this city. She paid the ultimate sacrifice because of that."

Russo-Elling was planning to retire in a few months and spend more time with her family, the head of her union said.

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