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Chelsea-Based EMT Killed While Hiking

Restko died in a mountain climbing accident on June 19. Photo courtesy of FDNY
Restko with her dog Beanie. Photo by Stefania M. Brennan
Restko with her dog, Beanie. Photo by Stefania M. Brennan

BY JANE ARGODALE | Lieutenant JoAnn Restko, an EMT who worked out of FDNY-EMS Station 7 (512 W. 23rd St., btw. 10th & 11th Aves.), passed away on June 19, while hiking in the Adirondack Mountains near Lake George.

A memorial for Lieutenant JoAnn Restko at FDNY-EMS Station 7, where she worked for 14 years. Photo courtesy Facebook.com/FDNYWomen.
A memorial for Lieutenant JoAnn Restko at FDNY-EMS Station 7, where she worked for 14 years. Photo courtesy Facebook.com/FDNYWomen.

Restko, 37, who lived in Staten Island, had been hiking with a friend, when she lost her footing and fell off a ledge above Roaring Brook Falls in Keene Valley.

Her friend reported that Restko edged forward towards the ledge to take a photo, tried to turn around, and then disappeared. When the friend was unable to locate Restko, she called Department of Environmental Conservation rangers, who discovered Restko’s body in the water below.

An autopsy determined the cause of death to be multiple blunt force injuries that occurred during the nearly 100-foot fall.

In 2012, a coworker of Restko’s, the Paramedic Leonard Joyner, had also passed away during a mountain climbing accident in Colorado.

Restko’s passing was announced on the FDNY Women’s Benevolent Association’s Facebook page on June 19.

Restko died in a mountain climbing accident on June 19. Photo courtesy of FDNY
Restko died in a hiking accident on June 19. Photo courtesy of FDNY

Restko spent 14 years with the FDNY, joining in 2002 as an EMS Cadet. She received her EMT certification in 2003. The following year, she was featured in the FDNY’s subway posters for EMS week.

In 2006, Restko was promoted to Paramedic. Throughout her career with FDNY-EMS in Manhattan, Restko earned several Pre-Hospital Save Awards, for acting to get patients resuscitated before their arrival at medical care facilities.

A viewing and funeral service were held June 25, at Matthew Funeral Home in Staten Island. There is also a memorial to Restko in the Chelsea station where she worked.

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