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Wake begins for FDNY EMS veteran stabbed to death in unprovoked attack

By John Dias

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    COMMACK, New York (WCBS) — Remembrances begin Monday for FDNY EMS Lt. Alison Russo.

A wake for the 25-year veteran will be held Monday afternoon and Tuesday on Long Island.

Russo was stabbed to death last week in what police called an unprovoked attack.

As CBS2’s John Dias reported, services start at 2 p.m. Loved ones are starting to show up to what is no doubt going to be a rough day, paying tribute to a woman who dedicated most of her live to saving the lives of others.

It’s a tragic loss being felt from New York City to Long Island, and well beyond. The tragic loss of a 61-year-old Russo rocking the Tri-State Area.

Flags have been ordered to be flown at half staff until after the final farewell on Wednesday.

“A heart of gold. She was here for the station. She made sure that we were all OK,” FDNY Paramedic Madeline Higueros said.

Sunday, the FDNY posted a photo of the brave leader on Instagram, with a caption from a fellow lieutenant saying, in par, “there are no words that can express the pain that we are all feeling.”

So many are left grappling with this great loss, especially her family.

“Remember her for the hero that she was, because that is truly who she was, and she died doing what she loved,” said her daughter, Danielle Fuoco.

Her life was taken away too soon, but her service was arguably greater than someone who could have lived two lives.

Russo was a World Trade Center first responder, a 25-year veteran of the FDNY and a volunteer with the Huntington Community First Aid Squad for decades.

On Friday, a black and purple bunting was draped outside her Queens station to pay homage, followed by a show of respect and sorrow as community members from the Huntington area lined the streets leading to Commack Abbey Funeral Home.

“I think that giving to others and service was really her biggest love in life,” said Katie Donegan of the Huntington Community First Aid Squad.

Police said the 61-year-old was stabbed more than 20 times in an unprovoked attack after leaving her station to get food. The man accused in the stabbing is 34-year-old Peter Zisopoulos, who is now facing murder charges. We’re told he has a history of schizophrenia.

Loved ones will tell you Russo was as feisty as she was bubbly, knowing when to turn on each emotion. Making her one of the best in the business, a true New York hero.

A second wake will take place Tuesday, followed by the funeral on Wednesday.

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