First 9/11 FDNY Chief in Still Serving

Chief Joseph Pfeifer was the first FDNY battalion chief to arrive at the World Trade Center on 9/11. This morning, the New York Post reports the FDNY is implementing a new disaster response plan that Chief Pfeifer formulated:

In a report released yesterday, FDNY brass outline plans to avoid repeating the mistakes made on 9/11, when 343 firefighters were killed. The “FDNY Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness Strategy” study comes in response to the scathing 2002 McKinsey Report, which found the department was badly limited by widespread communication failures, poor coordination with other agencies and overall bad planning.

The new strategy includes preparation for multiple disaster scenarios, a buildup of elite firefighters, high-tech equipment development and a procedural overhaul. “These plans are all based from Sept. 11,” Chief of Department Salvatore Cassano told The Post.

The planning effort was led by Deputy Assistant Chief Joseph Pfeifer, head of the FDNY Center for Terrorism and Disaster Preparedness and one of the first on scene on Sept. 11. Pfeifer lost his brother, Lt. Kevin Pfeifer, in the attack.

I have met Chief Pfeifer on several occasions. He is unassuming.

The Post actually led off their report with, “This is how 9/11 is not going to happen again.” Chief Pfeifer was there the last time it happened again.

Some might correctly speculate Chief Pfeifer stayed in memory of his brother and the 343. Yet he also stayed for those who will come running the next time.