NYC EMT veteran dies from COVID-19 a day before fellow EMTs receive their first vaccine

Michael Gartland, Thomas Tracy and Larry McShane, New York Daily News

A 27-year veteran emergency medical technician and mother of four died Tuesday night from COVID-19 — just hours before her fellow city EMTs began receiving their first vaccines against the deadly virus.

Evelyn Ford, 58, became the 12th member of the FDNY to succumb to the illness, officials said.

“She was kind, respectful and believed in the job that we all do,” recalled Emergency Medical Services Chief Lillian Bonsignore. “We’ll miss her deeply, and we appreciate the ability to even have known her over those years. She will always remains in our hearts.”

Ford worked as a citywide dispatcher for the department’s Emergency Medical Dispatch, coordinating the medical response to major city crises including mass casualty reports and major fires, said FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

The somber announcement came as her fellow colleagues were set to receive their COVID shots Wednesday morning at three locations across the city.

“What was going to be one of the few uplifting days that we had this year .... was saddened by the knowledge that Ms. Ford passed (Tuesday) night because of COVID,” said Nigro. “And it really points to how important the vaccinations are to our members.”

Nigro noted that Ford spent nearly three decades on the job, serving as a mentor to hundreds of fellow EMTs during her long career.

“She was a professional medical provider who responded to help those in need on countless calls, and she was a calm voice during major emergencies ensuring New Yorkers received the urgent care they needed,” said Nigro. “Our entire department mourns her loss.”

Ford also worked as an EMT in Station 31 in Brooklyn. She is survived by her four children.

“It’s very, very sad that just now, as we finally get to turn the corner, the vaccine has finally arrived, we lose a good woman who served us so well and for so long,” said Mayor de Blasio on Wednesday. “Our hearts go out to her family and children.”