Ray Pfeifer, fire­fighter, voice for 9 11 health care, dies

Cape Breton Post - - Obituaries -

A re­tired New York City fire­fighter who spent months dig­ging through de­bris af­ter the Sept. 11 ter­ror at­tacks, then be­came a key voice in fight­ing for health care for first re­spon­ders while wracked with late-stage can­cer him­self, has died, the fire depart­ment said.

Ray­mond Pfeifer died Sun­day af­ter an eight-year fight with the dis­ease, the depart­ment said. He was 59.

Pfeifer was among those who lob­bied fiercely for the re­newal of the Zadroga Act, which pro­vides health ben­e­fits to first re­spon­ders who fell ill af­ter the at­tacks in 2001. He and oth­ers, in­clud­ing co­me­dian Jon Ste­wart, went to Congress to chal­lenge law­mak­ers to ex­tend health mon­i­tor­ing and treat­ment for Sept. 11 first re­spon­ders in 2015. Congress ul­ti­mately did reau­tho­rize the pro­gram.

“I was just a poster boy,’’ Pfeifer said when he was hon­oured at New York City Hall in Jan­uary 2016. But “we got some­thing done . ... It was hard-fought. We dealt with peo­ple that didn’t re­ally get it.’’

Ste­wart, mean­while, said he had merely been Pfeifer’s “wing­man’’ on their trips to Washington.

Pfeifer served over 27 years in the Fire Depart­ment be­fore re­tir­ing in 2014, ac­cord­ing to a Daily News of New York pro­file of him the next year.

“It was ex­cit­ing from day one up to the last day I worked, ev­ery sin­gle minute,’’ he told the news­pa­per. “I was proud ev­ery day to put that uni­form on.’’

Fire Com­mis­sioner Daniel Ni­gro said Sun­day that Pfeifer was “a true fighter,’’ from bat­tling blazes to press­ing for help for sick­ened 9-11 first re­spon­ders.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.