118 names added to Fallen Firefighters Memorial

October 10, 2017 01:28 PM

ALBANY – Hundreds of firefighters from around the state gathered at the Empire State Plaza, most from New York City, for the 20th Anniversary of the NYS Fallen Firefighters Memorial. Last year, only eight names were added to the wall; this year 118, but only six were not from the 9/11 aftermath.

Held at the Convention Center because of a forecast of inclement weather, the ceremony featured the NYC Fire Department Emerald Society Pipes and Drums and Memorial Color Guard from the Office of Fire Prevention and Control and Albany Fire Department.

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Among the late firefighters was Emilio Longo, a Captain with the FDNY. The 28-year veteran died of Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma from the effects of the 9/11 terror attacks, his family said. On Tuesday, Longo’s grandson, a 4th grader from East Greenbush, and son-in-law took time to do a pencil rubbing of his name off the Memorial wall.

"He was a hero," Robbie Lindberg, 9, said.

"I just want him to miss his grandpa," said Robert Lindberg.

Among those gathered were 45 active members of the MacBoston 18 Truck, dedicated to the NYS Fallen Firefighters Memorial. The truck displays the names of those who have died in the line of duty before and after 9/11. They say they already have to add another plaque for the post-9/11 era.

Additionally, the New York State Professional Fire Fighters Association is calling on Gov. Cuomo to sign legislation (A. 6501/S. 4564) related to protections for firefighters suffering from cancers presumed to result from job-related exposure to toxic chemicals and carcinogens.

"It often takes years, after initial exposure for symptoms to present and metastasize," Sam Fresina, NYSPFFA President, said in a statement, adding "the data is clear and compelling."

Dedicated in 1998, the memorial gets updated annually during Fire Prevention Week. It now has 2,524 names on it including a firefighter from Orange County who died in 1946, a Forest Ranger from Steuben County who died in 1970 and James Lanza, who died this past April. Retired, Lanza, 71, helped 16 people out of the "Miracle Stairwell B" from the World Trade Center.

The earliest name on the list is a man who died in 1811.


WNYT Staff

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