Rescued Man Thanks Firefighter Heroes Who Saved His Life

NY Daily News - November 18, 2011

by Sam Levin

'Without them, I would've been dead'

There were hugs and handshakes when John Russo met firefighters who saved him.

A Queens man rescued from certain death but badly injured in a house fire, gave thanks on Thursday to the heroes who saved his life.

"Without them, I would've been dead. I was home alone," said John Russo, 52, as he shook hands and hugged the firefighters of Engine 285/Ladder 142 in Ozone Park.

For 20-year veteran Firefighter Ed Rissland it was a rewarding moment. "This is probably the best day I've ever had [on the job]," said Rissland, 46, who helped rescue Russo. "What a gift -- this is really something special to us."

Firefighters found Russo knocked out by smoke when they rushed to the Sept. 1 house fire. He suffered second- and third-degree burns.