FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 21, 2004
MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG AND FIRE COMMISSIONER NICHOLAS SCOPPETTA ATTEND PLAQUE DEDICATION FOR FIREFIGHTER JAMES O'SHEA
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta today dedicated a plaque in honor of Firefighter James O'Shea at a ceremony at Ladder Company 127 in Queens. Firefighter O'Shea suffered a fatal heart attack on September 27, 2003 after returning home from a tour of duty at his firehouse. O'Shea was a 17-year veteran of the Fire Department and the first firefighter to die in the line of duty after the World Trade Center attacks. He was 40 years old. The Mayor and Commissioner were joined at the dedication ceremony by Fire Department officials, firefighters and family and friends of O'Shea.
"James O'Shea was a man dedicated protecting the lives of New Yorkers every day he came to work," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Whether it was helping younger firefighters learn the ropes, or putting himself in harms way, James O'Shea showed unwavering commitment to his fellow firefighters and the City. As other brave men and women of the FDNY pass by this plaque, they'll be reminded of the sacrifices that some of them might one day be called upon to make, and of the kind of firefighter and human being James O'Shea was.
"It is an honor to be here today to commemorate the life and service of Firefighter James O'Shea," said Commissioner Scoppetta. "He embodied what it means to be one of New York's Bravest. This plaque will forever hang here to inspire those who enter these quarters and remind them of the life he lived and the lives he touched as a New York City Firefighter."
Firefighter O'Shea served the City first as a police officer before he joined the ranks of FDNY. During his career he was assigned to both Engine and Ladder Companies and received a unit citation for his heroic actions at a Queens fire in 1995. He was remembered as a "gentle giant" and someone that was always there to offer advice and serve as a role model for younger firefighters.
Firefighter O'Shea's wife Yetta and their two sons Matthew and Jake attended the event along with his mother Margaret and sister Maureen. Also on hand were Chief of Department Peter Hayden, Chief of Operations Salvatore Cassano and retired members of Engine Company 298 / Ladder Company 127.
Edward Skyler / Robert Lawson (212) 788-2958
Francis Gribbon (New York City Fire Department)
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