Ronald Spadafora was one of the first responders to arrive at the World Trade Center following the September 11 terrorist attacks, he also led recovery efforts as brave men and women scoured the site in the hopes of finding survivors. Following his Ground Zero efforts, Spadafora developed cancer, as many rescue workers have, and has now succumbed to the illness.
New York Daily News reported on Saturday that the 63-year-old hero passed away after serving all five boroughs of New York City during his 40-year career with the department.
“In his extraordinary career, he fought fires in all five boroughs, improved training for every FDNY member, and as the chief of fire prevention for the last eight years, Ron’s dedication and leadership led to greater safety and protection for millions of New Yorkers,” FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro told NYDN.
Not only was Spadafora instrumental during search and rescue efforts, he also led the entire duration of the cleanup operations that followed.
Spadafora was a decorated officer who led the FDNY’s Logistics Section during the cities 2003 blackout and worked in the same capacity during the 2012 Superstorm Sandy event.
Following Spadafora’s death, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted a reminder of Spadafora’s contributions to the city.
“For forty years, @FDNY Chief Ronald R. Spadafora’s courage saved countless lives. On behalf of all New Yorkers, I want to express our deepest condolences to his family, loved ones and the FDNY.”
It takes a special type of person to run towards danger and the Twin Towers attack was by far the most dangerous situation to have been witnessed in the United States in recent years. We applaud Spadafora’s selfless acts of courage and compassion and our thoughts are with his family.