March 30, 2020 By Allie Griffin
A FDNY mechanic who kept ambulances up and running for first responders at a Long Island City facility died of the coronavirus yesterday.
James Villecco, 55, of Staten Island, is the first FDNY member to be taken by the virus.
The Staten Islander was also a six-year veteran of the U.S. Army.
A resident of Staten Island, Mr. Villecco was a solid tradesman, beloved husband and father, and a friend to all he worked with each day. He was a six-year Veteran of the United States Army. He is survived by his wife, Joy, and daughter, Jessica.
Mayor Bill de Blasio called Villecco an unsung hero at a press briefing yesterday.
“This is the kind of unsung hero who doesn’t get the credit he deserves,” de Blasio told reporters. “This is the kind of man who keeps us safe because he kept the ambulances in good repair, so they could get there to help all of us.”
Villecco joined FDNY Fleet Services in 2014. He first worked at the FDNY’s repair shop in Coney Island before working at the Long Island City facility on Review Avenue, according to a FDNY Instagram post.
“Behind the thousands of calls our members respond to every day is a team of dedicated and skilled mechanics who ensure our ambulances are running 24/7,” said Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “James Villecco was one of those truly unsung heroes in our Department whose outstanding work provided medical care for the people of our city. The entire Department mourns his loss.”
Villecco is survived by his wife, Joy, and daughter, Jessica.