About This Website

McAllanInDC37OfficeI don’t remember which legal-sized document McAllan was triumphantly holding up, but I’m sure it represented a victory for the EMT’s and Paramedics of Local 2507.

Rich was always taking on new fights and had little time to document what he had done before his untimely death at the age of 58. On July 4, 2014, when this website is going live, Rich would have been celebrating his 64th birthday.

This site is a work in progress. I will continue to upload photos and documents as I find them in the papers Rich left me. I would like to acknowledge the help of two people in particular, Danny Burstein, former Treasurer of Local 2507, who has also preserved materials from this time period, and Tom Soter, who generously spent the time needed to convert Rich’s old VHS tapes of news programs into .mov files.

To all of you NYC*EMS’ers out there, I would like to apologize for any inadvertent errors or omissions. If  you want any photos to be identified, please let me know and I will do so. If you have photos or recollections of Rich to share, email them to me and I will post them. Any contributions to make this site better would be much appreciated, because of course it is about you as much as it is about Richard J. McAllan.

Alan Saly, former Assistant to the President, EMS Local 2507 asaly@panix.com

Personal Glimpses — Photos courtesy of Frank McAllan


Rich with his dogs Gunilla and Rusty and his Celica

Rich with his two dogs and his Toyota Celica.

Rich with brother Frank and his Dad

Rich on his graduation from Monmouth College, with his brother, Frank, and his father, Francis “Mac” McAllan. Mac was a member of the Wanamassa Fire and First Aid Departments.

The Wanamassa Fire Co near Asbury Park inspired Rich to work in rescue

The Wanamassa Fire Co. in Rich’s home town, the Wanamassa section of Ocean Township, NJ, was an inspiration to Rich as a youngster. His  brother Frank said: “[As a very young boy] Rich started following my Dad (who was a volunteer firefighter) to accidents, as did I. In those days, there were no seatbelts, and there were many crashes with many fatalities. I’m sure this affected his early development.”

5 thoughts on “About This Website

  1. JoAnn Black-Swierkowski

    You OUT DID yourself !! This was a amazing piece. Well written and so well but together. Thank you for such a fabulous throwback walk down memory lane. I could here both Gut + McAllan their voices imprinted in my forever memory. Feel so blessed and honored to have known+ worked with so many amazing characters, you included. You were always in the thick of it as well. Many blessings to you + yours. Thanks again

  2. Frank McAllan

    Alan, the best tribute one man can pay another, and beyond. Richard would have been more than proud of his best friend. Seeing this website, Richard would have hugged you rightly and formed ‘happy’ tears in his eyes. An incredible job of putting together an entire lifetime of his thoughts, actions, and friends hat surrounded him in NYC. Yes, he would have been 64 this month (July 2014) and he is missed every day. I keep his picture in my bedroom, so I can see him every night before bed and when I get up the each morning. Again, from the bottom or Richard’s heart and soul, I thank you for all you (and your family) have done for him as a person over the years. Your continual support, gave him every reason to live a meaningful life while fighting EMS battles for the citizens of NYC. Take care. Frank McAllan (brother and room-mate growing up in Wanamassa, NJ).

  3. Frank McAllan

    To Alan and his friends: I believe Richard is still with us–only in another concurrent dimension laughing hysterically at the current political situation and his old adversary, Rudy. Richard would have been 68 on this 4th of July, 2018 and absolutely loved his job and even more, the comrade relationships with his co-workers.

    For maybe 10 years in the 1970s and 1980s, Richard worked the midnight shift in Harlem during the height of heroin overdoses in the 1970s and 1980s. On holidays, when he visited his shore home in Wanamassa, NJ, Richard would describe the horrors of NYC EMS calls including broadside accidents, suicides by building jumpers, and drug overdoses and he did it with an unmatched amount of human sensitivity. Physically disabled due to slipping on a bottle on a staircase when carrying a victim on a stretcher down 5 flights of stairs, he became a ‘wagon/doctor’ communicator.

    Equally important as the lives they saved, were his co-workers on the streets that put their own lives at risk on a daily basis. Without a law degree, he wrote many court petitions regarding the safety of the ambulances for the EMS workers.

    Remembering just a few of them, (a) the placement of the van gas tanks just behind the driver; (b) placement of the wagon cabin radios near sexual reproduction organs. Most important, he worked on a long term case allegedly accusing Rudy Giuliani of what Richard considered an illegal procurement of EMS radios that failed miserably during the 911 attacks on the WTC. He wrote about the communications inadequacies years before that tragic day that killed so many firefighters.

    Richard hated hospitals knowing, first hand, the numerous mistakes hospital personnel make on a daily basis–as well as the levels of hospital acquired infections, the latter to which he finally died.

    In memory of my favorite brother 9 years after his passing, Frank McAllan

  4. Frank McAllan

    Richard, dear brother, passed on 11 years ago, March 27, 2020. You are not forgottrn. Alan, excellent job with new text and decades old documents!

  5. Bruce Wolk

    I am hoping someone comes across my post. My name is Bruce Wolk and I was with EMS from 1984 to almost 1989 (I had earlier experience in a volunteer ambulance corps). I started as an EMT, of course, and I worked out of Metropolitan Hospital until I was able to get into Jacobi Hospital’s Paramedic program. When I was at Metropolitan, I worked midnight’s initially, and that is where I got to know Rich. I was new, scared and frightened. I kept my mouth shut! Rich was already a paramedic and extremely competent. He was a paramedic’s paramedic. Reading the newspaper clippings, I realized how brave he was. We all knew where EMS was heading…and it wasn’t good. Rich was an activist and in those days, I was afraid to speak up but I knew of Rich’s strong stance. Maybe if there had been a few more champions like Rich, EMS would have become the third service. I’m sorry to say that the job ‘got to me.’ Maybe it was the AIDS crisis, the low pay, the incompetence, the lousy equipment, or all of it, I don’t know. I had to leave. I am a writer and have been for many years. I have been writing about my experiences along with other projects. My research took me to this site. I can’t calculate how many lives Rich must have saved and how many people he blessed with his presence on this earth. Thank you for this site, thank you for keeping his memory alive. I have been made better knowing how his life and dedication shined his light on this world.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.