The legacy of a hero Suffolk County police officer, killed 13 years ago by a drunken driver, will be honored again Saturday as his local fire department hosts a blood drive in his memory.
The 12th annual Glen Ciano Blood Drive will be held at the Commack Fire Department from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
“This blood drive … has literally helped save countless lives and I cannot think of a better way to honor the legacy and the service of this extraordinary individual, Glen Ciano, then supporting a blood drive that is saving people’s lives,” Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said at a news conference in Commack Thursday. “This is truly what he represented and what he did with his life.”
New York State is facing an “unprecedented” blood supply shortage, in part because of the ongoing pandemic, said Doreen Fiscina, account manager for the New York Blood Center.
Blood supplies remain below the ideal five-day safety level, and types O-, O+ B- and A- continue to hover at less than two-day levels, officials said.
“These past 12 years [of this blood drive] have helped to save over 12,000 lives,” Fiscina said.
Ciano, 45, a 22-year veteran of the department, was killed when his patrol car burst into flames after being struck by a drunken driver as he made a left turn onto Commack Road on Feb. 22, 2009. In 2011 the driver was sentenced to 1 to 4 years in prison. Ciano left behind his wife and two children.
“Glen’s legacy is here to stay,” said his widow, Susan Ciano. “And having this blood drive will continue that legacy.”
Suffolk County Police Commissioner Rodney Harrison said Ciano “paid the ultimate sacrifice. But having this blood drive for the 12th year has been very important. We need for everyone to come down.”
Commack Fire District Commissioner Pat Fazio called Ciano “a huge part of this fire department,” mentoring many younger members and spending time at the firehouse despite never becoming a firefighter himself.
He encouraged members of the public to donate blood to honor Ciano’s legacy.
“He lives on forever here,” Fazio said. ” … So do what Glen would say: ‘lets get it done.'”
With John Paraskevas