May 6, 2023
“Do the right thing, even when no one is looking,” words you’d often hear from Ray Pfeifer. A member of the FDNY since 1987, Ray was golfing with other FDNY firefighters the morning of September 11, 2001. When he learned of the attacks, Ray went to his firehouse at Engine 40/Ladder 35, grabbed his gear, and spent the next eight months searching and digging at Ground Zero. All 11 members of his Manhattan firehouse who responded to the call were killed. In 2009, Ray was diagnosed with Stage 4 kidney cancer resulting from his work at the World Trade Center site. With federal benefits on the verge of expiring, Ray, in his wheelchair, led a small contingent to Washington, DC in 2015 to challenge lawmakers. Ray fought for health care benefits from the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act to be extended for September 11th first responders, and succeeded. Ray passed away on May 28, 2017. Now The Ray Pfeifer Foundation is helping 9/11 first responders with medical needs not covered by insurance.
The central focus of the Foundation is assisting the families of firefighters in their times of greatest need, in transporting firefighters, family members and department personnel to and from medical institutions both for care and family support. The Foundation is all-volunteer, entirely non-profit, and depends on donations of equipment, funds and service to carry out its mission. We also are dedicated to the comfort and support of the families of firefighters in their times of bereavement. Our immediate aim is to minimize the negative impact of injuries and fatalities that members of the fire family endure, by providing vehicles and transportation assistance, in conjunction with the Fire Department of the City of New York.
The mission of the Lt. Joseph P. DiBernardo Memorial Foundation is to provide fire departments in need with safety training and personal life safety systems. Our vision is that one day every firefighter will have the training and equipment to safely escape a fire. We believe that firefighters can’t save lives if they can’t save themselves.
Too often firefighters become trapped unexpectedly due to collapse, flashover, backdraft or more and need to get out FAST. Sometimes the only way out is a window. Our organization knows this all too well – founded by people directly impacted by the FDNY “Black Sunday” where 3 firefighters lost their lives and 3 suffered life-changing injuries – all because they had no way out but a 5th story window. That’s why we are committed to providing personal safety systems and training to fire departments in need. We achieve this by awarding grants for personal safety bailout systems for firefighters, and offering seminars taught by world class instructors. We hope there’s a day where every firefighter has a way out. And no family, department or community suffers the devastating impact of another “Black Sunday.”
The Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund, Inc. was established after the tragic loss of 343 firefighters on September 11, 2001 to support the FIRST RESPONDERS and their families who continue to serve.
The Terry Farrell Firefighters Fund operates to assist the FIRST RESPONDER community with educational, medical emergency and equipment grants. The Fund shall operate as a volunteer organization, maintaining limited administrative budgets while granting out ninety-five percent (95%) of funds raised to support the mission on an annual basis.