NY Daily News - February 09, 2018by THOMAS TRACY
An FDNY lieutenant has died of 9/11-related cancer just four months after retiring, authorities said Thursday.
Ret. Lt. Edward Meehan is the fifth FDNY member this year to succumb to an illness linked to their time at Ground Zero following the terror attacks 16 years ago, union officials say.
Meehan, 59, died on Feb. 2. His funeral was being held Thursday at St. Anthony’s Church in Nanuet, NY.
Meehan joined the FDNY in 1983 and worked mostly at Ladder 22 on the Upper West Side after being promoted to lieutenant in 1995, officials said.
“The man was in the gym everyday talking about his plan for retirement and the cancer came and cheated him,” friend Huey Johnson wrote on Facebook. “Really sucks!”
Facebook friend John Leonard agreed.
“Knew Eddie for many years,” Leonard wrote. “Always a gentleman and great firefighter. Another great guy has left us and heaven gained yet another angel.”
Meehan was honored at the Irish Echo’s First Responders Awards in November but was too sick to attend.
In a questionnaire he had filled out for the Irish newspaper, he said he joined the FDNY because he “knew that being a firefighter is an honorable and prestigious profession that is not compensated with currency as much as it generates other rewards.”
“It is in the pride of accomplishment and the joy or relief of those we help that we count as our remuneration,” he wrote, adding that his proudest moment in the FDNY was when he was promoted to lieutenant. “It was an important day after years of study and sacrifice by my family and I.”
Uniformed Firefighters Association President Gerard Fitzgerald called Meehan a “fearless leader that embodied everything that makes the FDNY truly ‘The Bravest.'
“His death marks the fifth WTC passing this year and is another tragic reminder that more than 16 years after the 9/11 attacks, first responders continue to suffer from illness and cancer,” Fitzgerald added.
Meehan was the second 9/11 firefighter to die on Feb. 2.
On the same day retired Firefighter Ronald Svec, 63, died after a nine-year battle with lung and spine cancer he contracted after his time toiling at Ground Zero.
On Jan. 27, retired Firefighter Ray Phillips, the UFA’s official Santa Claus at holiday parties, died from complications of asthma he suffered after working at Ground Zero with Rescue 3.
Meehan is the 168th FDNY member to die from a 9/11-related illness since the terror attacks, the department said.
nd 133 NYPD members have died of sicknesses attributed to the wreckage of the Twin Towers, officials said.