EMS Assistant Chief Alvin Suriel dies from World Trade Center-related illness, FDNY commissioner announces

Chief Suriel, a 32-year veteran of FDNY EMS, was 52 years old, says Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro.

News 12 Staff

Dec 7, 2021, 3:04 PM

Updated 865 days ago

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EMS Assistant Chief Alvin Suriel dies from World Trade Center-related illness, FDNY commissioner announces
Alvin Suriel, the assistant chief of Emergency Medical Service, has become the 264th member of the New York City Fire Department to die of World Trade Center-related illness, officials announced Tuesday.
Chief Suriel, a 32-year veteran of Emergency Medical Service, was 52 years old, says Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro.
"Al Suriel spent three decades providing pre-hospital emergency medical care throughout our city," Nigro says. "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."
Chief Suriel most recently served as assistance chief of EMS Operations, and was the first Hispanic member ever appointed to that rank after being promoted to the position in May 2019.
In that role, he served as the chief of Field Operations, assisting in the supervision of 4,6000 EMTs, paramedics, EMS officers, and civilian employees, while overseeing operations, planning, and logistics in the Bureau of EMS.
Through his work with the department's Counseling Services Unit, he led the way in developing the largest active member peer support group in the nation to address the mental health needs of the FDNY EMS workforce during the COVID-19 pandemic.
He began his career in 1989 as an EMT first assigned to Harlem, then completed his paramedic training in 1993 and was assigned to Stations 14 and 26 before becoming a paramedic coordinator in the Bronx.
As a paramedic on Sept. 11, he responded from the EMS Academy at Fort Totten in a convoy with other EMS members to the World Trade Center, where he spent days working on rescue and recovery efforts.
"He was there for New Yorkers on Sept. 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," Nigro says.
After being promoted to lieutenant in 2005, he served as the citywide paramedic coordinator for EMS Operations, was later promoted to captain in 2010, deputy chief in 2013, and division commander of the Bronx in 2015. He became deputy assistant chief of EMS Operations in 2017.
Chief Suriel is survived by his wife and two daughters.


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