Exclusives
FacebookTwitterLinkedInGoogle+RSS Feed
Fire EMSEMS TodayEMS Insider

Goin’ to the Chapel

OrlandoMartinez

Orlando Martinez, EMT, FDNY EMS, was one block away from the World Trade Center when the first plane hit. After he and his partner, Frank Puma, transported a patient who’d been critically injured by part of a plane’s landing gear to NYU Downtown Hospital, he called his girlfriend, Maddalena Passarella, and told her a plane had hit the World Trade Center.

“I told her I was OK and that I had to go back in to help more injured people,” says Martinez. “She told me to be safe and call her as soon as I could.”

She went into the living room, turned on the TV and saw what all of America had been seeing. About an hour later, the towers collapsed. She panicked, not knowing whether Martinez was dead or alive. Five hours later, he called to let her know he was alive, although very shaken up. When he arrived home about 10 p.m., Maddalena wouldn’t let him leave her sight.

The following day, Martinez’s brothers came over and drove him and Maddalena to his parents’ house in Brooklyn. His whole family—including his pregnant sister who drove four hours from Pennsylvania—wanted to see him. Toward the end of the night, Orlando gathered everyone in his parents’ living room and thanked them for their love and support. “I reached into my pocket and pulled out a black jewelry box, approached my girlfriend, got down on one knee and opened the box. I handed her a diamond ring and asked for her hand in marriage in front of the whole family,” says Martinez. “After she flooded the floor with crying, she finally said, ‘Yes.’”

“Life is too short,” says Martinez, who had the ring for three months prior to the terrorist attacks. “If I had perished in the Trade Center, my biggest regret would be not having told Maddalena how much I love her and letting her know that I was planning to spend the rest of my life with her.”

Their wedding bells will ring this October.

RELATED ARTICLES

How EMS and Fire Agencies in Wichita, Kan., Responded when a Plane Flew into a Building

A twin engine Beechcraft King Air lost power to one of its engines just after takeoff, which caused the aircraft to bank hard off the path of the runway and ...

48-Day Manhunt Places Unprecedented Demand on Tactical EMS Operators

A tactical EMS team helps search for a sniper in the woods.

A Scientific Look at START and Our Ability to Do It

Do we correctly categorize patients or are there limitations to how we triage?

Serving the Psychological Needs of Your Employees

How does your agency help employees cope with the traumas and stressors of EMS?

Vehicle Staging is Essential at an MCI

It's a time-proven practice.

‘Brown’ Demonstrations Posed Challenge to Ferguson EMS and Fire

How do you prepare for standing by or responding to the warm or hot zones of rapidly escalating and moving riots and protests?  

Features by Topic

JEMS TV

FEATURED VIDEO TOPICS

Learn about new products and innovations featured at EMS Today 2015

 

JEMS Connect

CURRENT DISCUSSIONS

 
 

EMS BLOGS

Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

Featured Careers