NY TIMES: FDNY Firefighter Roy Chelsen Recalled As A Leader On 9/11

[fblike]This past Sunday, FF Roy W. Chelsen of FDNY Engine Company 28 died as a result of multiple myeloma, a cancer that many link to his incredible work on 9/11. He is also the first firefighter to die after the signing of the 9/11 Health Law. Today in the New York Times is an incredible article we recommend to all, from rookie to vet,  to read and discuss. It talks of a man when faced against a worst-case scenario stood up and made decisions that saved many on that fateful day. FF Roy Chelsen is a firefighter’s firefighter.

From the New York Times article referring to the moment after one of the twin towers fell and he was in the one still standing,

“Firefighter Chelsen remembered saying, “Let’s just get these people, and let’s get out of here.” Persuasion gave way to command, and his colleagues in the lobby of 1 World Trade Center fell in behind him, running beside a brick wall outside toward a pedestrian bridge over West Street. “We got out and we got under the bridge,” Firefighter Chelsen told a commander in January 2002, during an interview for an oral history of 9/11. “A couple of bodies came down, flying down, just in front of our guys. We just got under the bridge and, like: ‘O.K., it’s safe. It’s good.’ All of a sudden, we heard this huge explosion, and that’s when the tower started coming down. We all started running.”

It is a story that was not well known while he was alive — mostly because he was not one to talk about it, said Stephen J. Cassidy, the head of the Uniformed Firefighters Association. “This is one of those classic, unbelievably tough New York City firefighters,” Mr. Cassidy said. “He did not say a lot, but when you needed him, he was there.” Mr. Cassidy added, “There are a lot of firefighters alive today because of him.”

A wake is planned for tonight and Friday, at the Lazear-Smith & Vander Plaat Memorial Home, in Warwick, and a funeral service will be held on Saturday at the Warwick Valley High School due to the expected large number of people who want to attend.

via James Estrin/New York Times

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