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Although only 18 years old, Brian Smith of Bayside is no stranger to working in an ambulance.
Smith, who just graduated from Holy Cross High School, already has several years experience volunteering with the Bayside Volunteer Ambulance Corps and has become the organizations youth squad captain.
In March, Smith earned his EMT license, allowing him to treat patients in the ambulance.
Its really exciting, Smith said of his ambulance work.
Smith was honored for his volunteer efforts by being selected the 109th Precincts representative in the Commissioner for a Day program, which took place June 5.
The Commissioner for a Day program is designed to give New York City students a glimpse into the life of police officers. Each precinct selects its representative based on the results of an essay contest.
After being presented with the award by Police Commissioner Ray Kelly, Smith and his family were taken aboard a harbor patrol boat in the East River, escorted by one of the 109th Precincts youth officers, Joseph Conelli.
Smiths uncle, James, was married to the late Police Officer Moira Smith. Moira Smith of Queens Village was the only woman police officer to die in the Sept. 11 attacks.
Many of the members of the Bayside Volunteer Ambulance Corps headed down to Ground Zero on Sept. 11 to help with the rescue effort. Smith picked up the slack, working 30 hours in Bayside as a dispatcher, taking only one two-hour break to sleep. At the time, Smith was unaware that his aunt was missing in the rubble.
Moira Smith and her husband, also an experienced police officer, encouraged their nephew to work in emergency services.
It was either being a police officer or being a fireman, Smith said.
After his aunts death, Smith met with members of her precinct.
I was talking with Moiras captain and lieutenant, and they told me its a good job, that Id be good at it, Smith said.
Smith then decided once and for all to join the NYPD. He has taken the police officers exam, and he hopes to join the force after graduating from Pace University, which he will attend this fall.
Smiths activities extend beyond working as an EMT. He played quarterback for Holy Cross High School as a freshman and sophomore and was also named an honors student.
He has a little geek in him, Smiths mother, Kathy, joked.
I have a lot of geek in me, Smith responded.
Conelli described the Commissioner for a Day program as a fun day.
No complaints about him. Hes very polite, Conelli said of Smith.
Smiths 11-year-old brother, Kevin also plans to continue the tradition of police officers in the family.
Smiths father, John, spoke proudly of his son.
He has never given us any problems, he said. With the EMT course he really went after it. He deserves what he gets.
It would make his aunt proud, he added.
Reach reporter Alexander Dworkowitz by e-mail at Timesledger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 141.
©2002 Community Newspaper Group
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