Colorado Medic Who Went to Assist NYC Dies of Coronavirus

Ambulnz paramedics and Aurora firefighters salute as the casket carrying the body of paramedic Paul Cary is removed from a plane at Denver International Airport on Sunday, May 3, 2020, in Denver. Cary died from coronavirus after volunteering to help combat the pandemic in New York City. (Helen H. Richardson/The …
Helen H. Richardson/The Denver Post via AP, Pool

Colorado paramedic Paul Cary saved lives but lost his own in the battle against the coronavirus pandemic.

“It was so busy when we first got here. … We had a few long days,” said fellow paramedic and friend, Royce Davis. Both medics were stationed in the Bronx, helping with facility transfers with Ambulnz. The two of them were constantly looking out for one another in the midst of the grim global fight against the coronavirus.

“We would see each other every day, check up on each other, make sure we were rested, and doing good,” Davis remembered.

In an official statement, the on-demand ambulance service paid respect to the fallen medic, saying:

Paul Cary, 66, was part of Ambulnz’s State of New York COVID Response team who volunteered for assignment at the epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City. Paul’s career is best defined by his kindness and service to others during his time as a paramedic at Ambulnz, and before that as a firefighter/paramedic of more than 30 years with the Aurora, Colorado Fire Department.

“Paul made the ultimate sacrifice for his country and will forever be remembered as extremely dependable and completely devoted to his work,” the company said. On Sunday, an honor guard and procession — including more than 50 ambulances and over 100 first responders — escorted the fallen 66-year-old’s body to Newark Liberty International Airport to send him home to his family.

Mayor Bill de Blasio offered gratitude on behalf of the city, saying, “This man came here of his own choice. … Thank you to Paul’s family. We will remember him and memorialize him. It’s so important to remember this great example of heroism.”

But perhaps the most fitting tribute was a simple observation of Cary’s character: “Paul was a humble man, a caring man, who was devoted to serving other people,” said Davis. “We [paramedics from Ambulnz] were all assigned to the Bronx Zoo area. … Paul was just doing his job, like he does his job every other day.”

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