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Joe Callan: Fire Chief

Joe Callan.

By Irish America Staff
April / May 2002

Chief Joe Callan, a veteran firefighter from the Bronx, was taking command at the North Tower when the South Tower collapsed. Amidst the terror and confusion, Callan drew widespread respect for the calm demeanor and judgement he displayed following the collapse. He was trapped with his firefighters in the lobby of the North Tower but managed to get to safety as the building came down.

He was later honored for his actions by being asked to represent the New York Fire Department in a Remembrance Sunday ceremony held on November 11th in London, which was attended by the Queen and many other British dignitaries. Callan marched with members of the Firefighters’ Memorial Trust and afterwards said to British journalists, “It’s a very poignant ceremony because of what happened on September 11. I’ve never felt such warmth and energy. I’m very proud and honored to march with people here. The people in England are so nice and supportive.” ♦

One Response to “Joe Callan: Fire Chief”

  1. Terence Woodings says:

    I am a retired fireman from Lancashire County Fire Brigade in the North West of England. Together with my wife we had the privilege and pleasure of marching behind Chief Callan, this was first time marching on Remembrance Sunday but not our last.
    The reception the Fire Service received that day was awesome, people clapping and cheering. After dismissal we met Mr Callan, my wife had a photograph with him, it still takes pride of place in our home. We all had our share of horrors but nothing like 9/11 and I have the utmost admiration for the courage, skill and professionalism of New York firemen that day. If there is a heaven then those guys will surely have pride of place.

    Terence Woodings Blackpool, England

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