Archive for New York City Fire Department


Posted in 2011, Around Town, Our Heros, Remembering September, The Big Chili Cook-Off with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on 07-09-2011 by thebigchilicookoffevergreen


Tie a Yellow Ribbon

Posted in Our Heros, Remembering September, The Big Chili Cook-Off, USA with tags , , , , , , , on 06-23-2011 by thebigchilicookoffevergreen

“All off duty firefighters and off duty officers are ordered recalled immediately.” 

“I need you to roll every available ambulance to this position right now.”

These commands came over the scanners the morning of September 11, 2001, and the calls were answered. Paramedics, firefighters and police officers headed into the battle, with one motive: to help people.

As Time magazine put it on September 14th, “On a normal day, we value heroism because it is uncommon. On Sept. 11, we valued heroism because it was everywhere. The fire fighters kept climbing the stairs of the tallest buildings in town, even as the steel moaned and the cracks spread in zippers through the walls, to get to the people trapped in the sky… That sentiment was played out in miniature in the streets, where fleeing victims pulled the wounded to safety, and at every hospital, where the lines to give blood looped round and round the block. At the medical-supply companies, which sent supplies without being asked. At Verizon, where a worker threw on a New York fire department jacket to go save people.”

And over the fields of Pennsylvania, a similar brand of heroism took place as passengers of Flight 93 fought back against the hijackers who had taken control of their plane. Had Flight 93 stayed aloft a few seconds longer, it would have plowed into Shanksville-Stonycreek School and its 501 students, grades K through 12. Instead, at 10:06 a.m., the plane smashed into a reclaimed section of an old coal strip mine. Those brave passengers laid down their lives, but their act prevented even greater tragedy. 

Stories of self-sacrifice abound from that day, and we lost many whom we loved. Some were lost simply because of where they were that morning. Others knowingly ran into danger in order to save someone else. What can we do, nearly a decade later? We can honor them by one simple act — remembering.

First Victim

Posted in Our Heros, Remembering September, The Big Chili Cook-Off, USA with tags , , , , , , , on 06-09-2011 by thebigchilicookoffevergreen

There are different kinds of heroes in this world. There are those who rush in, while others are rushing out. There are those who sacrifice so others may live. And there are those who offer comfort and hope to those who have no comfort, no hope.

Upon hearing the news that the World Trade Center had been hit, Fr. Mychal Judge, chaplain of the New York Fire Department,  rushed to the site. He was met by the Mayor of New York, Rudolph Giuliani,  who asked him to pray for the city and its victims. Judge administered last rights to some lying on the streets, then entered the lobby of the World Trade Center North Tower where an emergency command post was organized. There he continued offering aid and prayers for the rescuers and the injured, giving comfort where he could.

Fr. Judge’s last act was to anoint a fallen firefighter, Daniel Suhr, after which he went back to the command post. When the South Tower collapsed at 9:59 AM, debris went flying through the North Tower lobby, killing many inside, including Judge. “He was a man for all seasons — even a season of tragedy,” said Prof. James R. Kelly, a sociologist at Fordham University. For all people, he said, Father Judge’s death while ministering to firefighters in the heart of horror was the perfect image of selflessness. ”It gives a deep coherence to the whole tragic event,” Dr. Kelly added.

Shortly after his death, an NYPD Police Lieutenant, who had also been buried in the collapse, found Judge’s body and assisted by two firemen and a civilian bystander carried it out of the North Tower lobby to nearby St. Peter’s Church where his body bag was labeled Victim 0001. Shannon Stapleton’s photograph of this event became one of the most famous images of the attack on the Twin Towers.



Lord, take me where You want me to go,
let me meet who You want me to meet,
tell me what You want me to say,
and keep me out of Your way.

Prayer of Fr. Mychal Judge, OFM (Order of Friars Minor)
Chaplain, NYFD
First official recorded victim 9/11 attack

Everyday Heroes

Posted in 2011, Our Heros, Remembering September, The Big Chili Cook-Off, USA with tags , , , , , , on 05-26-2011 by thebigchilicookoffevergreen

The attacks on America on September 11, 2001 produced some heroes, some miracles. One of these is now retired New York City firefighter Joe Torrillo, who rushed to the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 and was buried under the rubble when the twin towers toppled.

As the sun set on that terrible day, 344 firefighters had been declared dead. Torrillo was the only one found alive in the debris. He now uses his memories of pain and suffering to offer words of wisdom to students all over the world through assemblies and personal appearances.

“We believed so much in our job and what we represented that we were able to lay down our life so that somebody else would live,” he says. Torrillo still doesn’t understand how he was lucky enough to live, but it’s been very clear to him in the years that followed why he chose to be a firefighter.

He tells others that the people who will do the most for you in life will be the people you never expected.