A retired Colorado paramedic who died from coronavirus after volunteering to help combat the pandemic in New York City was honored Sunday as his body was returned to Denver.
Paul Cary, who was 66 and had worked for decades as a firefighter paramedic in the Denver suburbs, died April 30, a month after he began working in New York. A large procession of fire trucks, ambulances and other emergency vehicles drove from Denver International Airport after Cary’s body was returned Sunday night.
Gov. Jared Polis said Cary had “heroically” served his community and country and traveled thousands of miles to help others.
"This is a difficult time for so many Coloradans and so many Americans," Polis said in his released statement. "I can never express just how grateful I am for people like Paul, and all our emergency responders who are on the front lines of this virus. Paul dedicated his life to the service of others, and he will be greatly missed."
New York's mayor praised the sacrifice of Paul Cary, promising that his heroism before he died of the coronavirus will be forever honored in the city he came to rescue. Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke at length about Cary during his daily update Friday about the city's progress against the disease.
He said the longtime Aurora, Colorado, resident who most recently lived in Denver clearly saved lives after coming to New York to relieve a beleaguered emergency response system that was fielding more 911 calls than ever before.