First responders hit the ice to honor slain paramedic

Puck drop!: Players from the Fire Department and Emergency Medical Technician hockey team went up against a New Jersey Police Benevolent Association in a memorial game for slain Bronx EMT Yadira Arroyo.
Brooklyn Daily
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What an ice gesture!

Hockey players from New York City’s FDNY–EMT team hit the ice for a memorial game at the Aviator Sports and Events Center on May 27 for the slain paramedic, Yadira Arroyo, who was murdered in the line of duty back in March.

The native Bronxite left behind five sons, and her fellow medics wanted to show their support by raising money for her family with a charity game, said the team’s head coach.

“I thought it was a very successful event. I thought everybody had a lot of fun and came out to show her sons that they will be supported no matter what,” said Bergen Beacher Bruce Funaro, who has been a paramedic for 20 years.

The teams raised more than $7,000 through ticket sales and merchandise, and handed her sons a framed jersey with the fallen hero’s name and station number 26 on it, along with a memorial puck.

The FDNY-EMT team lost to New Jersey 5–3, but the game wasn’t about the score, said another FDNY member.

“The game was great, we lost 3–5, but the team played their heart out to the last second and everyone was on their feet to the last second,” said Long Islander Adam Stern.

Neither Stern nor Funaro knew Arroyo personally, but when a member of your team falls, everyone is there to help pick up the pieces, said Stern.

“It doesn’t matter what branch you are in — a first responder, police officer, EMS — this brings everyone together,” he said.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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