John Mondello suicide: NYC EMT worker less than 3 months on the job kills self after working on the coronavirus frontlines. Body found by passerby in Queens.
John Mondello was found dead from a self inflicted gunshot wound discharged from a weapon registered to his retired NYPD father, in Queens on Friday.
Mondello was found after a passerby spotted his body just after 6.45pm on rocks along a river wall on Shore Boulevard in Astoria.
The EMT rookie’s death comes after Mondello previously mentioning struggling coping with patients who were dying from the deadly flu-like virus, also known as COVID-19, the nypost reports citing sources.
Mondello was on the Tactical Response Group running non-stop to areas with the busiest emergency call volume in the city.
In the city, positive cases of coronavirus have hit more than 160,000 and more than 16,000 people have died – including probable cases.
As of Sunday afternoon, there had been 980,784 cases in the US of the coronavirus, which has been blamed for 55,094 deaths.
Mondello then went to work with the Tactical Response Group next to EMS Station 18 in Claremont, Bronx. The station is one of the busiest by 911 call volume throughout the five boroughs.
Mondello had graduated FDNY EMS Academy in early February. A good friend and fellow graduate described him as ‘always extremely peppy, incredibly joyful.’
‘He in no way confirmed he was upset about everything, that he did not like his everyday living any more,’ the friend stated.
But a couple of weeks ago — at the apex of the NYC’s coronavirus pandemic — Mondello reached out — and stated he did not like the occupation, the friend recalled.
The fellow EMT worker recalled having told Mondello that ‘everything was going to get better.’
Both spoke about how ‘everyone feels stressed out and overwhelmed’ especially after graduating from the academy and ‘jumping into the pandemic, the high call volume.’
The colleague said they two discussed the ‘chaos’ and seeing ‘people passing away right in front of you.’
‘We don’t have the same union benefits as other city workers. It’s really stressful to work long hours and not get paid as much,’ the colleague added.
Another colleague said Mondello complained of anxiety seeing so much death.
Mondello’s suicide death left fellow colleagues shocked said Anthony Almojera, vice president of the EMS officers’ union.
‘This is indicative of what we’re all going through,’ Almojera told via the nypost. ‘Hopefully people will reach out when they need help and don’t resort to this type of action. There are places to go if people need help.’
‘He’d feel it was a heavy experience when he’d fail to save a life,’ Al Javier told the nypost.
Almojera said the devastation wrought by the virus is taking a toll on many of his crew members.
‘This is indicative of what we’re all going through,’ Almojera reiterated. ‘Hopefully people will reach out when they need help and don’t resort to this type of action. There are places to go if people need help.’
Mental health counseling is available to all FDNY service members, and has been promoted during the pandemic.
‘The loss of this young EMT who chose to bravely serve others is a tragedy for our entire department. We all mourn his loss and our prayers are with his family,’ FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro told the nypost.
Mondello’s family has been left reeling from their son’s death.
‘He’s a wonderful boy and they’re a wonderful family,’ a relative told the nypost. ‘We are totally devastated. Beautiful personality. Big heart.’
Mondello, a Queens native, attended LaGuardia Community College and St. John’s University.
He had a deli job delivering food before becoming an EMT.
‘He was always smiling, always joking around. He never seemed upset,’ his store manager Peter Lee said.
The city offers a suicide-prevention hotline number. For more information, call 1-888-NYC-WELL (1-888-692-9355).