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  • Jin Huan Yang. Photo courtesy of FDNY




  • Anthony Fracciolla. Photo courtesy of FDNY




Jin Huan Yang and Anthony Fracchiolla, six months on the job, were first EMTs on the scene following Halloween terror attack

BY ASHAD HAJELA

On October 31, the deadliest terrorist attack since 9/11 took place along the bike path bordering the Hudson River. There, Sayfullo Saipov, a Paterson, New Jersey, man and ISIS acolyte, drove a rented truck for a mile and wreaked carnage along the Hudson River Greenway, between Houston Street and Chambers Street, slamming into bicyclists and pedestrians, leaving both their bodies and their bikes gnarled on the concrete path. Before Saipov’s rented terror truck smashed into a school bus near Stuyvesant High School on West Street, eight would be fatally injured and scores injured.

Ryan Nash, an NYPD officer from the First Precinct shot and incapacitated Saipov, preventing him from causing more carnage.

Not all heroes were as conspicuous as Nash. City Fire Department emergency medical technicians also played a key role by responding early, likely limiting the number of dead.

“I saw people running in the streets. People were just running in the middle of the highway. I thought to myself, why are people running in the middle of the highway? That’s dangerous,” said Jin Huan Yang, 26, an EMT who together with his partner, Anthony Fracchiolla, were responding to a different call when they drove up on the scene.

Yang and Fracchiolla, 21, responded immediately, going into the midst of chaos to treat the injured. Theirs was the first FDNY unit on the scene.

“Our main objective was to help,” Yang said.

Yang is a first-generation Asian American who has been in the United States ever since he could remember. He applied to be an EMT for FDNY on a whim. This was his first serious incident.

Yang was not the only new person on the job. He and his partner, Anthony Fracchiolla, only 21, had joined FDNY as EMTs only six months prior to the attack. Fracchiolla clambered on to the school bus that was hit by the pickup truck and freed a girl stuck at the back. He had, he said, to “try to stay calm, relax and just do the job.”

Although neither Yang nor Fracchiolla had experienced a situation of a similar magnitude, they said they were well prepared through their training. But the extent of the situation truly hit them when they were out in the field. “You see injuries, people crying on the floor. It hits you. People are looking at you,” Fracchiolla said.

Fracchiolla had always tried to help people when he was growing up. When he was younger, he used to help a neighbor shovel snow. Fracchiolla has now taken up a career helping people. However, after the attack, he had one regret — “Knowing that I wasn’t able to help all the victims,” he said.





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