A New York City firefighter from Long Island who responded to Ground Zero on 9/11 has died from COVID-19.
The department announced on Sunday, Jan. 31, that Firefighter Joseph A. Ferrugia, age 61, of Massapequa, was the first active-duty firefighter to die from the virus.
A 30-year veteran of the department, joining the FDNY in October 1990, assigned to Ladder Company 142 in Queens, Ferrugia has twice been cited for bravery, the department said.
Most recently, he was assigned to the Rebreather Unit, as part of the Department’s Special Operations Command, where he served in a critical support role training members and responding to incidents where firefighters would take part in extended emergency operations underground and in tunnels.
“Firefighter Ferrugia is the 13th member of the Department to die due to COVID-19,” said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro. “This horrific illness has taken far too many lives, and now it has killed a man who bravely served New Yorkers for three decades."
Nigro said Ferrugia " ran toward danger his entire career, searching for those trapped by flames and doing all he could to save them. Our entire Department mourns his loss.”
Ferrugia was also a 1993 World Trade Center bombing first responder and a senior firefighter whose actions saved the lives of others and made his fellow members safer, the department added.
He is survived by his three adult children and five siblings.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.