Anthony Pagliaro’s continuing fight against stage three colon cancer is rallying many around him. Including the people he works with at Kunkel Ambulance in downtown Utica, as well as his volunteer firefighting brothers in Schuyler.
They’re not the only ones though. A slew of fire stations and ambulance crews across central New York are also taking the time to care.
Anthony Pagliaro is called Pags by his friends and he is not alone in his fight against cancer.
"He's just one of them guys that you love. He never says anything bad about anybody and its just so easy to just band together," said the Kunkel director of operations Randall Sutherland.
Kunkel isn’t the only group supporting him. Barneveld firefighters who have a foundation for sick firefighters called believe 271 have already given financially to Pags fight.
"It was an exteremly emotional situation and not even just for Anthony, but for his fellow fire fighters and EMT and paramedics. You can’t even put words to it. To make twenty grown men cry. It could of happened that night," said Barneveld fire chief Brian Healey.
Pags wife Nicole says the financial support is monumental for them.
"And it’s just overwhelming that you wouldn’t think that all this money coming in wouldn’t be there if they didn’t do this for us," said Nicole.
It’s not just financial support, Anthony says his EMS and firefighting family calls him all the time.
"It makes you feel really good and it pushes you a little further and it feels great, it really does," said Anthony.
His coworkers say that’s simply the bond formed by working the job.
"There is no way to describe that feeling. You would have to experience it yourself. To just know that, yes, they're my coworker, or hey, I volunteer with those guys, but they're truly my buddies," said Sutherland.
It’s not just his coworkers and firefighting family taking the time to care. Others are reaching out too.
"Joe citizen off the street. I received a donation today from Eagle Bay fire department. I believe it was their auxiliary donated. That’s a long way to send money to a guy down here just because he's a volunteer," said Sutherland.
Pags’ EMS and firefighting family continues to care for him with a cans and bottles drive here at Kunkel in downtown Utica. They're also putting on a benefit to raise money for him on May 24th at the VFW in Schuyler.