What is Epidermodysplasia Verruciformis?
A very rare skin disorder, Epidermodysplasia verruciformis is characterized by a susceptibility to human papilloma virus, and the growth of horrifying tree-bark-like warts over the body. The world at large first heard about this dreadful disease in 2007, when the case of Dede Koswara showed up on the internet with a similar disease. Dede was featured on shows on both Discovery and The Learning Channel. He has since undergone multiple surgeries to remove his warts, with pounds of them hacked off at a time. Unfortunately, the warts of both diseases are very aggressive, and grow back immediately. It is estimated that Dede will need at least two surgeries a year to maintain a reasonably normal appearance.

For National Emergency Medical Services Week, Staten Island University Hospital staged a competition that pitted local EMS providers against each other to test their skills. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed this report. "Grandma" is a 70-year-old smoker with heart disease who is having trouble breathing. A call to 911 brings a team of paramedics and emergency medical technicians to assess her condition: "Grandma" is not a real patient, but the crews responding to her are real. For National Emergency Medical Services Week, Staten Island University Hospital staged a competition that pitted local EMS providers against each other to test their skills. Working on a remote-controlled mannequin, seven teams of four faced simulated patients with all types of life-threatening emergencies in the first annual so-called "Sim Lab Wars." While it's a friendly competition, the drill was meant to sharpen the skills of EMTs and paramedics. "Each call, you have to take it one step at a time and follow the process and do your size up and do your assessment and everything comes together," said paramedic James Martin. "[You're able] to get a hands-on feel for the patient without actually having a real patient," said Glenn Asadeda, the medical director for the New York City Fire Department. "It's one of the closest things that you can get to a real patient," Emergency room doctors watched the simulation and talked over the results with the teams after it was over. Teams were scored by a panel of five judges, They were graded in specific categories, such as how well they interacted with a patient and how well they followed protocols. The doctors say it was a rare opportunity to improve communication with the people who treat their patients before they arrive at the hospital. "It's imperative that what they're doing is translated to the emergency department when the patient is received, especially in a critically ill patient," said Paul Barbara, an emergency medicine doctor. "I try my best to take the medicine side outside to the streets and take the street side inside to the docs.

A 6-year-old boy's wish is coming true, thanks to some New York City first responders. Nathan Norman of Rustburg, Virginia, is battling spinal and brain cancer. Through the American Cancer Society, Frank Chiaramonte found out Nathan wanted Christmas cards from emergency workers. Chiaramonte, a cancer survivor himself, coordinated an effort to gather as much memorabilia from emergency workers as he could. He and his cousin are driving it down to Virginia for Nathan. "Once I beat cancer, I wanted to give back and help everybody that has cancer, from when they're first born to when they're 90," Chiaramonte said. "We want this kid to push forward and fight this and keep going as long as he could, and with our support, and things like this, it means a lot," said Joseph Scarpinito, a paramedic and a cancer survivor. Paramedics, firefighters and police officers donated items like patches, hats, uniforms and emergency gear.

A Fourth of July tragedy was averted in Queens Thursday when a boy was saved after falling into a pool, thanks to the quick thinking of a retired firefighter. The two-year-old was found unconscious in the pool at this house located at 65-28 Jay Avenue in Maspeth. Officials say the retired firefighter was nearby and sprang into action, performing CPR. "He went into action. He started doing exactly what he needed to do. By the time our units were there the care was already begun - and that is what's so important," said EMS Chief Anthony DeGennaro "The baby was originally completely blue. So when we took him to the back we assisted in ventilation. Then his skin started to perk up and he started to cry. That was music to our ears," said FDNY Paramedic Vanessa Tenorio. The child was resuscitated and rushed to Elmhurst Hospital.

New York's Bravest on Wednesday honored the memory of 10 members lost in the line of duty.
A ceremony was held at the Firefighter's Memorial in Riverside Park. Three wreaths were placed in front of the monument: One for the firefighters, one for EMTs and one for the department as a whole. The crowd stood in silence as the names of the 10 firefighters who perished this past year, were read out loud. The fire commissioner says the memorial is special because it was a gift from the people. "This memorial behind us stands as a testament to the memory of so many of our members,' said Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano. "Even as our hearts are once again heavy with sorrow as we remember their passing, and those that we honor, were also filled with pride as we recall their unflinching readiness to put themselves in harms way," said Mayor Michael Bloomberg. This year's memorial honored seven EMTs, one firefighter, a fire marshal, and a paramedic.

It was graduation day for a group of New York City Fire Department Emergency Medical Service officers.
Four captains were promoted to the rank of EMS Deputy Chief and 52 EMTs were promoted to paramedic. They went through nine months of training to receive their advanced life support certification. The FDNY responds to 1.3 million 911 calls a year. More than half are advanced life support calls. "They've bonded together for nine months," said Abdo Nahmod, chief of EMS for the FDNY. "They've learned camaraderie, they've learned teamwork and they've learned how to work as teams to advance the patient care level being provided." "I spent some time as a paramedic, and then, of course, I moved to the officer rank, but again, the mandate was always the same. It has always been providing the best pre-hospital care, and it continues to be that, no matter what level we're at," said Deputy Chief Edward Bobb, a graduate. The graduates will be assigned to various units throughout the city.