On Friday, November 17th, the New York City Fire Department (FDNY) faced a profound tragedy with the line-of-duty death of Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) Frederick D. Whiteside at the age of 43.
Whiteside, a dedicated 22-year veteran of the FDNY, suffered a fatal heart attack while serving at a 911 dispatch center in the Bronx. This incident has deeply affected New York’s Bravest and the entire city, bringing to light the often-overlooked risks faced by emergency responders.
Whiteside, a father and a highly respected member of the FDNY, was known for his unwavering commitment to public service. His sudden passing has left a void in the hearts of his colleagues, family, and the community he diligently served. Mayor Eric Adams, reflecting the city’s collective grief, paid tribute to EMT Whiteside’s career, which was dedicated to helping those in need and saving the lives of countless New Yorkers. “This is a heartbreaking loss for New York’s Bravest, and for our entire city,” Mayor Adams remarked in a poignant statement.
Whiteside, who lived in Brooklyn, joined the FDNY in April 2002. Over his two-decade-long career, he provided emergency care in both the Bronx and Brooklyn, serving with distinction in EMS Divisions 2 and 3. In 2019, he transitioned to a critical role in the city’s emergency response system, working in dispatch. This role, often the first point of contact in emergencies, highlighted his versatility and dedication to the field of emergency medical services.
Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh also expressed her deep sorrow over Whiteside’s untimely death. She described him as a “dedicated public servant and front-line worker,” whose sudden passing has brought immense sadness to the FDNY community. “We are saddened by his sudden passing and join his family and friends in mourning his loss,” she said, echoing the sentiments of many who knew and worked with Whiteside.
Whiteside’s commitment to public service, his role in saving lives, and his compassionate approach to emergency care will be enduringly remembered by the FDNY and the broader community he served. He leaves behind a legacy of bravery and selflessness, survived by his daughter, mother, and brother. They, along with the city of New York, mourn a hero whose life was dedicated to the service of others.
In this difficult time, the city unites to honor the memory of EMT Whiteside. His dedication to serving others, his bravery in the face of emergencies, and his compassionate heart will continue to inspire current and future generations of FDNY personnel and beyond.