In celebration of Mother’s Day 2018, we’re taking time to say thank you to our FDNY moms who continue to serve as an inspiration to their children as a parent, professional and so much more. Today, you get to learn more about three of these amazing women and their sons, as well as why they love working as a FDNY first responder.
Lieutenant Donna DaGrossa and her son EMT John Travis
For Station 50 EMT John Travis, becoming a FDNY EMS member last year felt more like joining the family business since he is the son of Station 38 Lieutenant Donna DaGrossa.
“Working here is a lot of fun because of the family atmosphere and it’s really a great feeling to be following in my mom’s footsteps,” he said. “You learn a lot working here also because we always get different calls and each call is a new experience and I just always knew that this is where I wanted to work.”
“I’ve been in EMS for almost 29 years and it’s really more of a calling than a career to me and I couldn’t imagine working anywhere else,” Lieutenant DaGrossa added. “I’m very proud to have my son working here now and I always knew he would join the Department because he was pretty much raised on the job. When he was a kid, I used to bring him to my station and all of the family events we had and it’s great to see him working here now and loving this job.”
EMS Academy Instructor Rudaina Ramos and her son Probationary Firefighter Felix De La Cruz
These two members may look familiar to you because they were featured on our social media on Mother’s Day in 2017. Felix was an EMT then and has since advanced his career to join our fire suppression. He now proudly serves at Engine 95 in Inwood.
“My mother introduced me to the Department and seeing her work here made me realize how the FDNY is one big family and it’s a great place to work,” Felix said. “I’m following in her footsteps while making my own path here as a Firefighter and it’s a great feeling. I know she’s super proud of my accomplishments and I hope they continue to make her smile every day.”
“I’m very proud of Felix for all of his hard work, courage and dedication since he joined this Department,” Rudaina added. “He’s in a new career where he can continue to help people in the community and that’s very important and I feel very blessed to have him as my son. Working here at the FDNY is very rewarding and having my son working here with me is really very special.”
Rudaina also noted that public service runs in their family. Her sister, Betania Nazario, is a Detective Squad Sergeant in the New York City Police Department. Betania also joined the celebration when Felix graduated from the Fire Academy on April 18.
“My aunt and my mom have always been my biggest support system,” Felix added. “Without their guidance, this journey would have been so much more challenging. I’m very thankful to have both of them in my life.”
EMT Hanifa Parris and her son Probationary Firefighter Kaamil Muhammad
Not only is Station 39 EMT Hanifa Parris a mother of six children, she’s also her son Engine 225 Probationary Firefighter Kaamil Muhammad’s certified personal trainer. Yes, you read that correctly. As a professional body builder, Hanifa worked out with Kaamil six days a week to help him prepare for the Academy. Kaamil also previously served in our EMS for almost four years.
“I think working in EMS is a great job because I’m always in a capacity where I’m serving people. When you work here, you have to be ready to work one-on-one with your patients and really listen to them and help them during their darkest moments in life and every job that I’ve had in my life, I’ve always been helping the public in some way,” Hanifa said. “When Kaamil joined the Department, I think he saw how passionate I am about this career and about fitness and he took it from there and now he’s making his own path here by becoming a Firefighter. He’s the first in our family to become one and I’m very proud of him. I supported him through this journey by training him and getting him mentally prepared for the Academy and he listened to my advice, stayed focused and made it happen.”
“My mother is an amazing woman, she runs our house pretty much and I followed her mentality of being a go-getter on this job and really pushed myself to do my best,” Kaamil added. “She’s always providing me with guidance when it comes to nutrition and what to do at the gym and it all paid off. I finished eleventh in my Academy class in fitness and I couldn’t have accomplished any of that without her help. Her leadership keeps our family together and I just always want to keep working hard in life like her.”