FDNY paramedic Carlos Lillo, 37, worked out of Battalion 49, Astoria, Queens. A New York native, Lillo received his paramedic training at Booth Memorial Hospital (now New York Hospital of Queens). He worked for FDNY EMS (and NYC EMS prior to the merger) for 16 years.
On Sept. 11, Lillo was treating patients on Church Street, facing the North Tower. Manuel Delgado, EMT-P, FDNY office of medical affairs, remembers seeing Lillo crying as he treated patients on the street. “My wife is in there,” Lillo told him. His wife, Cecilia, worked for the Port Authority on the 64th floor. He never knew she made it safely out of the North Tower.
Carlos and Cecilia met at a New Year’s Eve party in 1997. At the time of the attacks, they’d been married for a little more than a year. “We spent three wonderful, beautiful years together,” says Cecilia. “I wish we could have spent more.”
“Carlos always had a smile on his face. He was atypical [for a paramedic]; you kind of get cynical in this job,” says Delgado. “But Carlos never had anything bad to say about a patient. He was the quintessential paramedic: caring and thorough. He’d be the one you’d want as your partner.”
“He loved the streets; he loved his job and was proud of what he did,” says Cecilia. “I hope for all the paramedics out there, that because of Carlos and because of Ricardo Quinn [who also died], that they’ll realize their job is as dangerous as that of firefighters and police officers.”