A Sergeant for the Sanitation Department died on duty in Staten Island yesterday afternoon, soon after making a comment about the excessive heat, and as temperatures exceeded 90 degrees.
Sergeant Frank Musella, 37, had recently returned from a patrol to Staten Island's District 3 DSNY headquarters on Muldoon Avenue in Greenridge when he mentioned the heat, according to DSNY spokeswoman Belinda Mager. He then walked to his city car.
According to an FDNY spokesman, the fire department received a call at 2:07 p.m., pertaining to cardiac or respiratory arrest. However, Mager emphasized that "we do not have a cause of death, nor do we know if it was heat related." Mager said that it is also as yet unclear whether colleagues discovered Musella near, or inside of, his car. Musella was pronounced dead upon arrival at Staten Island University Hospital.
DSNY mourns passing of Enforcement Sgt. Frank Musella, 9-yr veteran & father of 2, who died on duty on S.I. today. pic.twitter.com/MASACrDkz5
— NYC Sanitation (@NYCSanitation) July 29, 2015
Death of DSNY Enforcement Sgt. Frank Musella yesterday was 1st line of duty death in division's 34 year history. pic.twitter.com/06vfEnNois
— NYC Sanitation (@NYCSanitation) July 30, 2015
Musella, who had worked for the DSNY since the fall of 2006 and lived in Bensonhurst, was married and had two sons, ages 8 and 4. His wife Alessandra posted yesterday to Facebook:
Today was the worse day of my life! I lost my love, my friend, my life, my heart! I lost my other half, the one I was supposed to grow old with! My Love My Husband, HOW DO I GO ON WITHOUT YOU?
Today Mayor de Blasio issued an order that all city flags be flown at half-mast until Musella's funeral, which has yet to be arranged. "We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of New York’s Strongest, who died while in service of our city," he said in a statement, issued yesterday evening.
— NYC Mayor's Office (@NYCMayorsOffice) July 30, 2015