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Huntington remembers native sister Alison Russo, FDNY paramedic stabbed to death while on the job

FDNY paramedic Alison Russo honored 6 months after deadly knife attack
FDNY paramedic Alison Russo honored 6 months after deadly knife attack 02:13

HUNTINGTON, N.Y. -- A dark day was remembered Wednesday on Long Island, the shocking and random murder in September of an on-duty FDNY paramedic.

CBS2 spoke with Capt. Alison Russo's parents at a hometown hero's tribute.

"There is so much emptiness all around us without her. She was our savior and our hero," said Frank Fuoco, Rosso's father.

Her immediate family joined her larger family, the Huntington community, to bring light, her father said, to a dark day.

READ MOREEMS Lt. Alison Russo remembered for "heart of gold," honored in bunting ceremony at Queens station house      

Six months after Russo was killed in an unprovoked knife attack in Astoria while on duty with the FDNY, her hometown unveiled lasting honors on an ambulance and a street sign.

Hearts are still broken from the random act of violence that ended the 61-year-old paramedic's life, one that was dedicated to helping others. She served 25 years with the FDNY and 30 as a volunteer with Huntington Community First Aid Squad.

"She would have stopped to have helped her murderer if it was him lying on the street," said Catherine Fuoco, Russo's mother.

"She was abused many times on the job by people she was trying to help -- bitten, spit on, people with AIDS -- but she continued and went on to help people," Frank Fuoco added. "Times have to change and the laws have to be enforced."

READ MOREWake held for veteran FDNY EMS Lt. Alison Russo, stabbed to death in unprovoked attack

Russo's parents and her daughter hope the street sign will be a reminder of the value of a life of service.

"Hopefully. it will inspire people. It's a way of the community to remember how much she put into saving lives," Danielle Fuoco said.

"I wish I had my daughter instead of the sign. Not only her passing caused a huge hole in our heart, but it caused a huge hole in many people's hearts. She will be so missed," Catherine Fuoco added.

Russo left behind not only a daughter but also a family of younger paramedics she mentored for years.

"She was a mother figure to so many, including myself. She would always say, 'Let me call to check on my kiddos,'" said Tiffany White of the Huntington Community First Aid Squad.

READ MOREIn wake of Capt. Alison Russo's death, union leaders demand New York City invest in EMS safety    

Her father joked the street should be called "Russo's Way" because she liked to get her way.

But her way also meant a dedication to service that will now be remembered for generations.

The man charged in the deadly attack, Peter Zisopoulos, was arrested after he was chased by a good Samaritan.  

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