Thursday, June 30, 2011

Today We Remember FF Paul Beyer, Engine Co. 6, FDNY

Today we remember Firefighter Paul Beyer, Engine Co. 6, FDNY. He was killed on September 11th, 2001.
The 37-year-old lifelong Staten Island resident, like the rest of his Engine Co. 6 crew, was due to finish his shift when the firefighters heard a loud explosion. As they neared One Police Plaza returning to their Beekman Street firehouse from another call, a police officer pointed to the World Trade Center, where billows of smoke were beginning to pour out of the upper floors. They immediately headed over.
Beyer’s friend and co-worker, William Green, who was with Beyer when they headed to the World Trade Center, recounted the events of that day: "Paul was gearing up like all of us when we got there. We were heading in to put out that fire, but getting up those stairs was very fatiguing. We regrouped at the 17th floor, and took a short break."
He said that firefighters were scrambling to find change to purchase water from a vending machine because of dehydration and exhaustion. Green axed the vending machine; water bottles were readily available for all. Green and Beyer were amused. "Paul and I actually laughed when I axed the vending machine," Green said.
The men of Engine 6 headed up to the 31st floor of Tower One and caught their breath. "A lieutenant from Engine 10 told us we had to make a push," Green said. The two men headed up again, but became separated by two floors. Beyer, who didn't have a radio, didn't receive evacuation orders.
No matter how bad a situation was Beyer was known for trying to keep everyone calm, whether it was by way of a humorous story or a soothing word. It was with that same attitude that he approached the escalating disaster at the World Trade Center.
A firefighter from another company later told Mrs. Beyer that on Sept. 11th he had been very frightened until he looked at the calm determination in Beyer’s face.
Paul was known as a strong firefighter who preformed his job with courage and integrity, fulfilling his lifelong dream. A fellow firefighter eulogized him as being “a tiger at heart, a real Superman. He never complained, never got angry, and didn’t talk the talk; he walked the walk.”

Paul was always there for family and friends. He was a loving father and husband, and spent a lot of time with his two boys. He was very proud of them.

He had a warm smile, quiet sense of humor, and great hugs. He was great cook and was known for his lemon chicken and twice-baked potatoes. He also made it a weekly tradition to prepare his "ultimate pancakes" for his wife on Saturday mornings and eggs on Sunday.

We Will Never Forget!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Today We Remember FF Daniel "Danny" Suhr, FDNY

Today we remember Firefighter Daniel “Danny” Suhr, 37-years-old, Engine Co. 216, FDNY, who was killed at the WTC on September 11th, 2001.

Danny Suhr was the recipient of many nicknames. Captain America was one. Whenever he went out with friends, he would point to exit doors and tell them where to meet him if anything happened. He loved his job at Engine Company 216.

Danny was the first firefighter killed on 9/11. The firefighters of Engine 216 were some of the first responders to the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. They were setting up near the south tower when a body jumping from Tower Two struck and killed Danny, who had been a firefighter since 1983.

Seven firefighters came to Suhr's aid.  Just minutes after he was rushed to Bellevue Hospital, the tower came crashing down. Danny and his fellow firefighters would have been in that tower if he had not been injured.

"He kept everyone safe," said his wife, Nancy. "The other 7 firefighters stayed with him because they wouldn't leave him behind," his wife said. "Because they didn't go in, he saved their lives."

"We're alive because of Danny,” firefighter Tony Sanseviro said. "It was almost like he knew,” firefighter Chris Barry said. "He didn't look scared, but he knew it was bad.” Before Suhr died, he was the captain for the FDNY football team and the Brooklyn Mariners, a semi-pro team.

Pudgy Walsh, a decorated retired firefighter and legendary Brooklyn Mariners football coach, for whom Suhr played middle linebacker for 10 seasons, says he wasn’t surprised that Danny was the first one killed that day.

"Danny's father was a firefighter. He has a brother who was a firefighter. A sister who was a cop. We are talking about a very tough, very brave, very dedicated family here,” Walsh says.

"Danny was one of the best human beings I've met in my time on this earth. The most complete player I coached in 54 years of coaching the Mariners.  He was a great friend, a great firefighter, a devoted husband, and loving father. Losing Danny Suhr was a huge loss to this city."
Danny left behind his wife, Nancy, whom he began dating in grammar school and their daughter, Brianna, then 2. Even though he was considered this big, brave firefighter, he could get fairly mushy over his 2-year-old daughter, Briana. He was terrified when she did things like run toward him too fast. "He loved her more than life itself," Nancy said.

We Will Never Forget!

Today We Remember Joseph "Joey" Agnello, FDNY

Today we remember Lieutenant Joseph “Joey” Agnello, 35-years-old, Ladder 118, FDNY, who was killed on September 11th, 2001.

On the morning of September 11th, Agnello and 5 of his fellow firefighters aboard Ladder 118 responded to what would be their final fire. They parked their rig at West and Vesey Street by the towers and vanished into the thick cloudy smoke and soot of the Marriott World Trade Center Hotel. Accounts by those rescued by Ladder 118 speak of the Ladder 118 crew ushering hundreds of the building occupants to safety. 

Survivor Bobby Graff says, "Their families should be proud of them. They knew what was going on, and they went down with their ship. They weren't going to leave until everyone got out. They must have saved a couple hundred people that day. I know they saved my life." 

Graff recalls, "Joey helped me bring handicapped people down from the 19th floor in the elevator. We then went up to the 12th floor where people were screaming and brought them down. Then the mayday call came on the radio and the command was 'Get out! Get out! Get out!' Joey and the other guys used their bodies like a brace - like a riot squad - directing the people out. They knew what was coming, but they stayed where they were. I'll never forget that. The men of Ladder 118 died side by side.”

Joseph Agnello was a career firefighter with the Fire Department of New York, but is described by his family and friends as not being defined by his life's work. He loved his wife VinnieCarla, his kids Salvatore and Vincent, took pleasure in his dogs, and thoroughly loved life.

A simple man, Joey never looked for credit for his accomplishments, nor wanted for material possessions. He found comfort and happiness in the little things: being with his family and looking up at the sky on a starry night. "Sometimes, when I take the dogs to the beach for a walk and I look up, I know he's still around," his wife said. "Like tonight. There's the most beautiful moon, and I know he's with me."

We Will Never Forget!

Today We Remember FF Joseph "Joey" Agnello, FDNY