A Hicksville street has been renamed in honor of former FDNY firefighter Raymond Pfeifer, who died in May of cancer linked to his work at Ground Zero in the weeks after 9/11.
Ballad Lane became Raymond J. Pfeifer Way during a ceremony Saturday near his former home that was attended by family, friends, neighbors and officials from the Town of Oyster Bay and Nassau County.
“Ray had the unique ability to connect with people,” Oyster Bay Supervisor Joseph Saladino said as he stood near the new street sign. “He felt a tremendous sense of duty, as a firefighter, to stand up for those in need.”
Pfeifer grew up in Levittown and moved to Hicksville in 1989. He was a 27-year FDNY veteran with Engine 40, Ladder 35, in Manhattan, until his retirement in 2014.
“During his tenure with the FDNY, firefighter Pfeifer earned the respect of his colleagues with his dedication, caring and attention to detail,” Saladino said.
After responding to the Sept. 11 terror attacks in 2001, Pfeifer continued to work at Ground Zero for weeks, helping sift through the rubble of the Twin Towers to search for survivors. His later efforts to lobby for an extension of federal health benefits for 9/11 survivors and first responders were applauded by many. In January 2016, he was presented with an honorary key to New York City.
Pfeifer died May 28 of renal carcinoma, a cancer he developed after being exposed to toxins at Ground Zero. He was 59.
Saturday’s ceremony drew dozens of admirers, including former FDNY colleagues.
“Although he was one of the victims, he was also one who worked very, very hard to see to it that all who were victims received the compensation and the help that they needed,” said FDNY chaplain Msgr. John Delendick.
Pfeifer’s widow, Caryn, his son, Terence, and his daughter, Taylor, stood with pride during the ceremony.
“I know that Ray is smiling down on us today because of this great weather,” Caryn Pfeifer said.