Siren Swan Song for Senior NY EMT


 
 

Doug Auer | | Tuesday, March 11, 2008


NEW YORK -- After 42 years of helping save lives, Michael Duchin stepped out of his ambulance last Thursday night and into retirement.

Duchin, 62, of Dongan Hills, received a lights-and-sirens escort as he drove his ambulance, truck 5525, into the ambulance bay behind Staten Island University Hospital, Ocean Breeze, for the last time.

An EMT at the hospital since 1966, when it was called Staten Island Hospital and located in Tompkinsville, Duchin was greeted at the end of his tour - exactly 11:30 p.m. - by more than 40 applauding well-wishers, including colleagues, supervisors and longtime friends.

"I've really enjoyed helping people and it's such a nice job," Duchin said during a ceremony in the EMT crew room in the hospital. Some present playfully referred to him by his well-deserved nickname, "Old School."

In fact, Duchin, recollects that he was among the first four EMTs in all of New York City.

Duchin, who also celebrated his birthday yesterday, graduated from McKee High School.

He started his career in 1963 at the former St. Vincent's Hospital, now Richmond University Medical Center.

He did a brief stint in the U.S. Air Force, assigned to aircraft maintenance, but lost his hearing due to jet noise and was discharged.

Duchin has been with SIUH ever since.

To put the length of his career in perspective, Duchin passed on the honorary title of "senior man" to SIUH EMT Benny Gatto, who has 18 years on the job.

"Only 18 years, I shouldn't even talk to him, he's only a rookie," joked Duchin.

"I was 9 years old when he started here," said senior paramedic and Duchin's good pal, Bob Garzone.

Paramedic and buddy Jim Martin recalled how he, his mother and his father all have worked with Duchin.

"He's been on the streets for 42 years and that's just unheard of," noted SIUH EMS supervisor William Goffin.

In that career span, Duchin has helped deliver 52 babies, saved a man and baby from drowning in the waters off Stapleton in 1985 and helped rescue a father and son from an apartment fire in the 1990s.

Not to mention the countless injuries he has treated night after night.

Now, Duchin is looking forward to relaxing and traveling.

His advice for those following in his footsteps:

"Enjoy it. But retire after 20 years."

A gala in his honor will be held Thursday at 7:30 p.m. in the Staaten, West Brighton.

For more information, call Jim Martin at 917-921-1068.

Doug Auer covers police and fire news for the Advance. He may be reached at auer@siadvance.com


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Industry News

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Simulation-Based Assessment Facilitates Learning & Enhances Clinical Judgment

Simulation is an educational tool that can be used to develop and refine clinical skills of the student in a controlled environment before they progress to becoming practicing clinicians.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Buffalo Medics, Firefighter Keep Working in Crash

Rural Metro medics describe crash that overturned their ambulance.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Drone Delays Landing of Ohio Medical Helicopter

Miami Valley Hospital incident raises questions over legalities of drones.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Four Killed in New Mexico Medical Plane Crash

Crash near fairgrounds claims patient and crew of three.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Texas Ambulance Involved in Crash

Odessa ambulance and car collide during response.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Building Explosion, Collapse in Paris Suburb

Death toll rises to eight after blast in Rosny-sous-Bois.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

New Mexico Air Ambulance Crash

NTSB investigates crash that killed four.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Where in the World of EMS is A.J.? Scranton

JEMS Editor-in-Chief visits his hometown of Scranton, Pa.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >