From Police Heroes, a book by author Chuck Whitlock:
When word of the September 11 attack came, Officer David Lemagne, twenty-seven, asked if he could respond to the emergency because he had paramedic training. He was last seen at the Twin Towers where he was part of a human chain evacuating the North Tower.
Lemagne was known for his sense of humour – he was always the one who told jokes and kept people laughing. He enjoyed cycling and playing softball and had recently traveled to Portugal and the Dominican Republic. He was also known as someone who pushed. “He pushed people to get the grades, to get moving, to get motivated,” his sister, Maggie, told the New York Times. “He pushed a lot of friends, and they went further in life because of him.”
When he was just eleven years old, he joined the Union City Volunteer Ambulance Corps as an Explorer. After receiving his EMT Certification while still in high school, Lemagne entered into service with the Union City Volunteer Ambulance Corps. After he graduated from high school in 1992, he then worked as an EMT for the Jersey City Medical Center and for the University Hospital EMS. In 1994, he received an associate’s degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and started working as a paramedic for the Jersey City Medical Center. From 1997 to 1998, he returned to his alma mater, Hudson Catholic High School in Jersey City, where he was an assistant coach to the football team and an athletic trainer. He became a Port Authority police officer in August 2000.
Portraits of Grief, The New York Times
Motivator and Prankster
He pushed. Whatever you thought you were capable of, he thought higher. David Lemagne loved to help people and especially to push them to become all that they could. “He pushed people to get the grades, to get moving, to get motivated,” said his sister, Magaly Lemagne Alfano. “He pushed a lot of friends, and they went further in life because of him.”
Officer Lemagne, 27, lived in North Bergen, N.J., and was a police officer for the Port Authority, as well as a part-time paramedic in New Jersey. He had begun riding around in ambulances when he was only 11, learning to care for others. He was assigned to PATH in Jersey City, and when the attack occurred he was told to stay put. But he asked to be sent to the trade center, because of his training as a paramedic.
Officer Lemagne was a notorious prankster, and friends never found it dull in his company. He loved to kid around. “He would tell my husband, in front of me, ‘If you ever have a problem with her, I’ll help you get rid of her,’” Mrs. Alfano said. “He would say, ‘Don’t worry, no one will ever have to know.’”
For all his paramedic training, he was not always entirely comfortable with blood. When he was young, he and his close friend decided they would become blood brothers. Fine. Officer Lemagne was handed a knife.
“I’m not cutting myself,” he exclaimed in horror. They became spit brothers.