Behind Every Uniform is a Story

EMS Week is dedicated to promoting public safety among all New Yorkers, attracting potential EMS recruits and celebrating the more than 4,400 members of FDNY's Emergency Medical Service and their life-saving work. Join us throughout the week as we tell the stories behind the uniform for a few of FDNY's EMS members.

Meagan Valicenti, Medic, Station 54 in Queens
“I definitely try to distance myself from work when I’m not at work. You really need that separation from work life and home life because work can be so stressful,” said Rescue Medic Meagan Valicenti, who’s at Station 54 in Queens and is a 2024 FDNY EMS Week poster participant. “I love that every day is something different in FDNY EMS — that every time I go to a (call), you never know what you’re going to get. It can be something typical like chest pains or something completely different.” Read more.

Lisa Nesbitt, EMT, PSAC 1 in Brooklyn
“I started at the Department on my 18th birthday,” said EMT Lisa Nesbitt, who works as an assignment-receiving dispatcher at PSAC 1 in Brooklyn and is a 2024 FDNY EMS Week poster participant. “I think by being (at PSAC 1), I can see both sides of the job. When I worked on the ambulance, you help people on the outside. But here, you must be skillful and use certain voice tones to help the public navigate their emergencies.” Read more.

Shawn Griffin, EMT, Station 45 in Queens
“I wanted to be a gym teacher and teach younger kids, so I’ve always been interested in helping people out any way I can. I was actually going to college (to be a gym teacher) ... but when I went to sign up for my classes, everything was booked,” said Station 45 EMT Shawn Griffin and a 2024 FDNY EMS Week poster participant. “I took a semester off and just decided I didn’t want to keep going with it. After working for a local supermarket, I got called to go in for the FDNY EMS Academy.” Read more.

Kyle Van Nostrand, LT, Station 44 in Brooklyn
“I’m trying to get to all 50 states. I’m at 33 right now. We’re going to Colorado in August and Chicago the week after that,” said Lt. Kyle Van Nostrand, of Station 44 and a 2024 FDNY EMS Week poster participant. He said he plans about 10% of his trips. The rest of the itinerary? There usually isn’t one. Read more.

Madeleine Manzo, EMT, Station 20 in the Bronx
“I’m an introvert. I like to read my books; I like to watch soccer — Barcelona and, more recently, NYCFC. Outside of work, I’m the in-the-corner-and-observe kind of person,” said Station 20 EMT Madeleine Manzo and a 2024 FDNY EMS Week poster participant. She’s currently reading “Beautiful World, Where Are You,” by Sally Rooney. Read more.

Alexander J. Bases, Medic, Station 4 in Manhattan
“I respond to a medical emergency in the subway, three stories down. There’s like 70 people, everyone’s yelling … there are phones from onlookers in your face from, like, 25 angles. You hone in on your craft, focus on one problem at a time,” said Alexander Bases, a Paramedic at Station 4 in Manhattan and a 2024 FDNY EMS Week poster participant. “My partner and I focus on our job; we get what we need to get done and then we go on to the next call.” Read more.

Denes Ravel, EMT, Station 19 in the Bronx
“I’m a huge jokester, I love to crack jokes. I love to laugh. I feel like a smile goes a long way. On the job, I get patients who are going through rough moments in life, and I just love to make them smile if I can,” said Denes Ravel, of Station 19 and a 2024 FDNY EMS Week poster participant. Read more.