City Officials Paid Tribute to Eight FDNY Members Who Died this Year at a Ceremony in The Cathedral of Saint John the Divine

The Patch - October 11, 2019

by Brendan Krisel, Patch Staff

NEW YORK, NY — Eight New York City firefighters who died this year were honored Thursday during the annual FDNY Memorial Day Ceremony.

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio spoke during the memorial ceremony at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine in Morningside Heights.

"This is the best fire department anywhere in the world. We gather on this Memorial Day, we reflect on the greatness of this department, we reflect on the nobility of your mission. But first and foremost, we are honoring eight good people, eight exemplary people who we lost, eight heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice to keep everyone else safe," de Blasio said Thursday.

The following FDNY members were memorialized during Thursday's ceremony:

*Firefighter Michael J. Reilly
*Firefighter Faizal Coto
*Firefighter Steven H. Pollard
*Firefighter Stephen J. Brady
*Firefighter Christopher A. Slutman
*EMT Adam Vazquez
*Captain Michael C. Thomas
*Lieutenant Brian J. Sullivan

Three of those eight — Pollard, Slutman and Sullivan — died in the line of duty, according to city officials.

The mayor said Thursday that the memorial service's venue is an example of the dedication and bravery of the city's fire department. A fire broke out inside the crypt of the cathedral on Palm Sunday, forcing worshipers to evacuate on the holy day. It was thanks to the quick response of New York City firefighters that nobody was hurt that day, de Blasio said.

FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro said that each FDNY Memorial Day honors the 1,153 city firefighters who have fallen in the line of duty. Nigro also honored the 200 firefighters who died due to 9/11-related illness.

"We say goodbye far too soon to extraordinary people who dedicated their careers and really their entire lives to bravely serving others and rescuing them from harm. On this day, our Memorial Day, we pay tribute to all of them," Nigro said.