FDNY Medal Day honors 2 members who made ultimate sacrifice in their duties

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Wednesday, June 7, 2023
FDNY Medal Day honors 2 members who made ultimate sacrifice
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The FDNY honored two of their own who died in the line of duty.

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- The FDNY honored two of their own who died in the line of duty, as well as several other personnel for their memorable heroics from last year.

The widow of Firefighter William Moon II accepted a Medal of Life named in his honor at FDNY Medal Day on Wednesday at The Billy Jean King Tennis Center in Flushing, Queens.

Firefighter Moon died during a training exercise at a Brooklyn firehouse last December.

"It helps bring peace to our family, and I hope it helps other to have hard conversations," Kristina Moon said.

She said she is helping fulfill her husband's decision to donate his organs by spreading the word to others to become donors and let their loved ones know.

Five people received his organs, including a 9-11 first responder.

"He actually went above and beyond because his sacrifice resulted in saving other lives," retired FDNY Captain Patrick Reynolds said.

Reynolds says he's doing remarkably well with his new liver, and retired lieutenant Terrence Jordan can laugh heartily, and climb stairs with a new pair of lungs from a hero.

"Everything I've learned about him, he was my kind of guy," Jordan said. "He was very gregarious and loving and heroic. I've never seen a guy go from a busy house in Queens to Rescue 2 after 20 years of service."

"I'm just grateful that they are now part of our family," Kristina Moon said. "And it just helps knowing that Billy's there. A piece of him is inside of them and we're happy to know them."

The North Star Medal was given out in honor of EMS Captain Allison Russo.

She was killed in an unprovoked attack last September.

The 61-year-old veteran first responder was on duty when she was stabbed near her station in the Astoria section of Queens.

She was heading to a corner store to get something to eat when police say 34-year-old Peter Zisopoulos stabbed her multiple times, killing her.

Captain Edgar Baez led the response as he and his colleagues realized the victim was one of their own.

"A lot of us worked with her over the past 25 years, we had a hard time," he said. "Always want to go home to the family and that was something one of our close friends and colleagues didn't get to do."

On Wednesday, with his family by his side, Baez received a medal for his leadership, named for Russo.

"Especially knowing her. Working alongside her for so many years. It's really an honor," Baez said.

Cheers rang through the Billie Jean King Tennis Center as other honorees made their companies proud, like Firefighter Belvon Koranteng, one of eight recognized for the heroic rope rescues last November at an East Side high rise. He credits their training for knowing exactly what to do.

"I didn't think I was actually going to be a part of something because this a very rare operation," Koranteng said. "But I was very glad to be prepared to do so and be able to be a part of it."

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