Murdered EMT Captain Laid to Rest in Huntington
By Rupert Deedes
Last Wednesday, the body of Capt. Alison Russo-Elling, of Huntington, was carried to her funeral on Long Island by an ambulance, not a hearse. It was an appropriate gesture by her fellow first responders: In her twenty-four years with the New York City Emergency Medical Service, and as an active volunteer in the Huntington Community First Aid Squad, Capt. Russo-Elling transported thousands of ailing New Yorkers to area hospitals by ambulance, saving their lives.
“Allie would always put others’ lives before hers,” said one of her co-workers, Deputy Chief Gregg Brady. Her colleagues all called her Allie, he said, and she called them “the kids.”
She was accompanied to her final rest by hundreds of emergency workers. Russo-Elling was murdered a few days earlier, stabbed to death in what appears to be a another “random act of violence” outside her station in Astoria, Queens.
Captain Russo-Elling had earned commendations and medals for bravery and service, including for her response to the World Trade Center attacks on /11 and her tireless service during the initial phase of the COVID pandemic.
In all, Captain Russo-Elling likely responded to more than 25,000 emergency calls during her career, said the city’s acting fire commissioner, Laura Kavanagh, adding: “She helped her city in its darkest days.”
She was only a half block from her station house in Astoria when a deranged man, Peter Zisopoulos, 34, ran up to her, pushed her to the ground and stabbed her to death. He was arraigned last week, charged with second-degree murder and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Long Island), the Republican candidate for governor, said last week that while the lack of mental health treatment is a problem, the murder reflects a violent crime wave unleashed by the Democrat’s “no-bail” laws.
“We are all mourning the death of Captain Allison Russo-Elling,” stated Zeldin. “And now we hear about a man stabbed to death on the L train. People are walking these streets in fear – and will now take an Uber for two blocks, rather than walking,”
“Thousands of times in her career, her sirens sang out loudly” stated EMS chief, Lillian Bonsignore said at the service. “Our sirens will continue to sing - a reminder to all. The best - just like Alison - are on the way.”