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TRIBUTE: National firefighting legend Harvey Eisner of Tenafly

Photo Credit: Cliffview Pilot File Photo

TRIBUTE: Firefighters near and far today are mourning the death of former Tenafly Fire Chief Harvey Eisner, a former crime-scene photographer in the Bronx and national fire service figure.

Harvey Jay Eisner, 59,who suffered an apparent heart attack last night while recovering from an unrelated ailment, was a Tenafly firefighter for 35 years and its chief for 12 years before retiring in 2010.

He was a driving force in making the East Bergen Mutual Aid Association one of the leading groups of its kind in the state.

Eisner graced the national stage, as well.

He was an editor-in-chief of Firehouse Magazine and produced an iconic book, “WTC: In Their Own Words,” which assembled the stories of 95 firefighters who were at Ground Zero on Sept. 11, 2001.

Eisner spent 10 years researching and writing the book and got it released in time for the tenth 9/11 anniversary.

To no one’s surprise, he dedicated a portion of the profits to the FDNY Foundation and the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.

He talks about “WTC: In Their Own Words” here:

Eisner was fascinated with firehouses as a kid. He began working nearly 40 years ago as a photographer and videographer, getting his work published nationally and helping secure evidence for investigations.

His work was also used in hundreds of books — and adorn the walls of several New York City firehouses.

Eisner covered some of the most significant incidents of our time — among them, the World Trade Center attack, the Oklahoma City bombing, the Dec. 3, 1999 Worcester Cold Storage and Warehouse fire in Massachusetts that killed six firefighters, the 1992 Los Angeles riots, and the July 1, 1988 roof collapse at Hackensack Ford that killed five firefighters and injured dozens of others.

He also personally mentored hundreds of firefighters and fire officers, trained tens of thousands more and provided “leadership skills, knowledge of strategy and tactics” and composure to every call, former Englewood Fire Chief Robert Moran said.

Eisner was a firefighter in the Stillwater, OK, Fire Department for three years while attending Oklahoma State University.

He was an honorary assistant chief of the FDNY and program director for the Firehouse Expo, Firehouse World and Firehouse Central conferences.


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