A Department of Sanitation [DSNY] enforcement sergeant and father of two from Bensonhurst collapsed on the job in Staten Island Thursday after commenting about the heat.
Frank Musella, 37, a 9-year Sanitation Department veteran, was returning to Staten Island’s District 3 DSNY headquarters in Greenridge when he complained of the muggy temperatures, which soared well into the 90s Thursday. As he walked back to his car, he collapsed, a spokesperson for the agency told news outlets.
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.
Musella is the first worker to die on the job since the Sanitation Department was created 34 years ago, according SDNY officials.
The city agency mourned Musella’s passing on social media on Thursday, and Mayor Bill de Blasio ordered that all flags will be flown at half-staff in Musella’s honor until his burial.
“We are deeply saddened by the loss of one of New York’s Strongest, who died while in service of our city,” de Blasio said in a statement yesterday evening.
Musella and his wife Alessandra have two sons, Frank Jr., 8, and Anthony, 4. His wife posted a heart broken message to Facebook yesterday.
“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!” she wrote.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Frank’s family and friends during this difficult time.