Family, friends and colleagues will remember Genevieve Giordano, an Amador Valley High School graduate and emergency call dispatcher in the area, during a memorial service at Cedar Grove Community Church in Livermore this weekend.
Giordano, 42, died while surrounded by loved ones at Stanford-ValleyCare hospital in Pleasanton on Feb. 5 after battling a rare form of soft tissue sarcoma, a type of cancer that develops in certain tissues like bone or muscle.
"Genevieve was encouraging to all who met her because of her constant joy despite her many health challenges during her battle with a rare sarcoma cancer since 2013," her mother, Yvonne Giordano, wrote in an email over the weekend.
"Genevieve served in her church and was well-loved by her family, classmates, many friends, medical professionals and co-workers," Yvonne Giordano said, adding that her daughter touched many others through "amazing courage against cancer and her ongoing commitment to bring joy and encouragement to others."
Giordano spent nearly 20 years as an emergency dispatcher in the Bay Area, including the past decade with the Alameda County Fire Department, where she earned several distinctions for her professionalism and standout work amid life-threatening situations.
"It is with great sadness that we inform you of the passing of recently retired dispatcher Genevieve Giordano," ACFD officials said in a post on the department's Facebook page. "We not only grieve the passing of a remarkable, selfless and caring woman but also for the loss her family, friends and loved ones suffer."
Born in Castro Valley and raised in Pleasanton, Giordano graduated from Amador Valley High in 1994 and went on to attend Las Positas College, where she also played goalie for the soccer team for two years.
She began her dispatcher career with American Medical Response in Burlingame in 1998 and continued there until being hired by the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory as a fire dispatcher in 2005.
Giordano formally joined ACFD in January 2008, when the department took over the dispatch center at the lab. She served as a decorated member of the ACFD 9-1-1 dispatch team until retiring before her death.
Achievements for Giordano during her career included receiving the lab's Rookie of the Year award and winning Dispatcher of the Year, as well as being recognized for her work on the Berkeley balcony collapse in 2015 and ACE train derailment in Niles Canyon in 2016 (for which she received a 2016 Life Saving Award from Alameda County EMS).
She also received a certificate of recognition from State Assemblywoman Catharine Baker and a commendation award from the city of Pleasanton for her years of public service and courage during a trying battle with cancer.
Giordano is survived by her mother Yvonne, father Joseph, brothers Giacomo and Giuseppe, and beloved dogs Stanley and Foxey.
A memorial service for Giordano will be held at 2 p.m. this Saturday (Feb. 17) at Cedar Grove Community Church, 2021 College Ave. in Livermore.