Remembering FDNY Deputy Chief Raymond M. Downey Sr.–Part I


In this episode of the Leadership Under Fire Humanizing the Narrative Podcast, and the one to follow, we’re honored to share the story of Deputy Chief Ray Downey’s devotion to his family, his faith and his beloved FDNY compliments of the insight of his wife of 41 years, his sons and his former firefighters who were inspired and influenced by his leadership, service, and courage. Chief Downey’s extraordinary 39-year career with the FDNY was built upon success after success and rescue after rescue. While he was held in high regard by members of the Department and emergency response agencies worldwide, he led a humble life, extremely devoted to the mission and members of the Department. On the morning of September 11, 2001, Chief Downey was the commanding officer of FDNY Special Operations Command, placing him in harm’s way while helping others escape from the fire and collapse scene of the World Trade Center. Chief Downey was one of the 343 members of the FDNY who made the Supreme Sacrifice on 9/11 and left behind a legacy that continues to profoundly shape the Department’s special operations capability set as well as other fire departments across the country. Chief Downey’s leadership, strategic vision and his devout Catholic faith, love for his family, the FDNY and competitive sport continue to inspire fire officers, military leaders, coaches, and citizens today.