Coronavirus News: NYC honors EMT from Colorado died while volunteering in fight against COVID-19

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- There was a powerful and solemn tribute for the paramedic from Colorado who died in New York City while volunteering in the fight against COVID-19.

Paul Cary arrived last month from his hometown of Aurora to lend a helping hand -- and on Sunday he was honored for his incredible sacrifice.

In late March, 66-year-old Cary dropped everything when he received a call to work as part of Ambulnz's State of New York COVID Response team. He died on April 30 from complications of the virus.

On Sunday afternoon, a caravan of ambulances accompanied his body from a funeral home on Staten Island to Newark Airport.

Officials with Ambulnz said every day Cary felt he was in NYC for a purpose.

For more than 30 years, Cary worked at the Aurora Fire Department, where friends say he was completely devoted to his work.

It came as no surprise when the call came that he was one of the first to say he was in. He knew the risks and still volunteered -- he even signed up for a second 30-day deployment.

"Thats not something you can train for, it's something in your blood, in your culture and that's what Paul was all about," said Ambulnz CEO Stan Vashovsky.

Cary was a father of two and had four grandchildren when he started feeling sick and ultimately ended up in the hospital.

But he wasn't alone -- fellow EMTs stood outside and his son, Chris, was able to get to NYC from Colorado and was by his dad's side until the very end.

Cary's family was surprised and humbled by the show of support. On Sunday, Mayor Bill de Blasio called it a powerful story of human devotion.

De Blasio said the city will remember and memorialize Cary and his great example of heroism.

Cary received a heroic sendoff as his casket was loaded onto the plane at Newark Airport to head home to Colorado.


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