Wives Tell Tales of 2 EMT Heroes

September 21, 2001

Cicilia Lillo, of North Babylon, said that when she first met the man who would become her husband, he would barely give her the time of day.

Now she knows for certain that Carlos Lillo would give his life for her. Because he did.

Ginny Quinn, of Bayside, was a single mom when she met the man who would complete her family.

Now, she is trying to tell their son that his father, Ricardo Quinn, died trying to save people he never knew.

The city's corps of Fire Department emergency medical technicians lost two members in the collapse of the World Trade Center.

Lillo and Quinn are the women they left behind.

On duty in Astoria, Carlos Lillo, 37, was mobilized to One World Trade Center, where Cicilia worked for the Port Authority on the 64th floor. When the couple could not reach each other by cell phone, Carlos went into the building to find her.

"I was trying to tell him that I got out and not to worry about me," said Lillo, 35. "I know he was my hero, because I was in there and he was trying to save me."

She met Carlos in 1982, when they were students at Long Island City High School. He was in a relationship and they never dated.

They met again at a New Year's Eve party 15 years later, and by that June decided to move in together. He proposed at their housewarming party. They married last year in Jamaica.

Ricardo Quinn, 40, was off duty when terrorists struck, but rushed to the burning Twin Towers to join the rescue effort. "I knew he was there, that's Ricardo," Ginny Quinn said. "I'm so proud of him, that he went there to help people. He just didn't make it out."

Quinn, 48, met her husband at Jones Beach, where each had come with a son from a prior marriage.

They married and nine years ago had a son, Kevin.

Wednesday, she told him.

"He looked at me. I'll never forget the expression on his face," Quinn said. "He said, 'Do you mean Daddy's dead?' "

Six other paramedics and EMTs are missing, including staff from Cornell Medical Center, Cabrini Medical Center, Hunter Ambulance, Metro Care, and Hatzolah.

--Martin C. Evans (Newsday)