James Villecco - Photo courtesy of NYC DCAS

James Villecco

Photo courtesy of NYC DCAS

New York Fire Department Auto Mechanic James Villecco, 55, has died from the COVID-19 virus. He is the first member of the FDNY to pass away from the virus, and many other fleet staff and mechanics from various departments are battling COVID-19 now, DCAS announced in its fleet newsletter.

Villecco joined the FDNY Bureau of Fleet Services in 2014 and was most recently working at the Review Avenue Garage in Queens. The Review Avenue Shop is FDNY’s main ambulance repair facility, servicing 600 ambulances and hundreds of other emergency response units.

Review is fleet’s most hectic and demanding facility. EMS is now facing record volumes of requests, and FDNY’s mechanics have never been more critical or challenged to keep this fleet operational and ready. 

“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 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.”

A resident of Staten Island, James Villecco was a solid tradesman, beloved husband and father, and a friend to all he worked with. He is survived by his wife, Joy, and daughter, Jessica.

DCAS and all the NYC fleet agencies expressed appreciation and condolences to the Villecco family and FDNY. They also recognized the fleet staff from the Fire Department, Police Department, Department of Transportation, Department of Sanitation, Parks, and Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) fighting the virus now. Additionally, they thanked the mechanics, fleet and truck operators, fuelers, custodians, parts staff, supervisors, managers, and others, including vendors, in fleet and facilities who are working now to support the city’s health and emergency response efforts.

Last week, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene issued this COVID-19: General Guidance for Vehicle Operators.

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