EMS Captain Is Disabled; Blame Reckless Driver
By GINGER ADAMS OTIS – The Chief Leader
An Emergency Medical Service officer who was struck by a car while tending
to an injured firefighter and civilian at a Jan. 21 fire in The Bronx has been released from Jacobi Hospital. Capt. Steven Quirondongo was hit from behind by a driver who ignored police warnings and circumvented NYPD blockades to head down Riverdale Ave.
Career May Be Over
Captain Quirondongo was crossing the street on his way to help two injured
people when the car, estimated by officials to be traveling at approximately 20 mph, crashed into him. He broke a vertebra in his back, as well as sustaining head and neck injuries, but thanks in part to the fact that he was wearing a helmet that was firmly strapped on, didn’t sustain life-altering injuries. The damage will likely put an end to his 19-year EMS career, however.
FDNY spokesman Jim Long said the accident occurred at approximately 3 p.m.
and there were no visibility issues that afternoon. Captain Quirondongo was
wearing FDNY bunker gear equipped with reflective strips, and according to
witness reports, he was easy to spot as he crossed the street. Mr. Long said the Captain was knocked onto the hood of the car, rolling into the windshield, before being thrown a distance of about three feet.
The NYPD issued the driver of the car two summonses, and Fire Department
officials are investigating the circumstances of the accident. Nationwide, car accidents are the leading cause of on-the-job deaths for EMS personnel, who
sometimes have to treat patients on roadsides and in the middle of traffic.