Monday, January 10, 2011

RIP Roy Chelsen
Fire Fighter Roy Chelsen
(courtesy of BeTheMatch)

We just lost another 9/11 HERO:

Heroic 9/11 first responder Roy Chelsen loses battle with cancer at 51

BY Barry Paddock
Roy Chelsen, seen here in 2006, saved the lives of many firefighters on Sept. 11, 2001.
Bennett for News
Roy Chelsen, seen here in 2006, saved the lives of many firefighters on Sept. 11, 2001.

Roy Chelsen, a heroic 9/11 first responder, died yesterday after a long battle with cancer. He was 51.

On 9/11, Chelsen, of Engine 28 in Manhattan, rushed a group of firefighters out of the World Trade Center's north tower moments before it collapsed, saving their lives.

Then he stayed on at Ground Zero, spending weeks digging through the rubble. He was later diagnosed with incurable bone-marrow cancer linked to his time there.

Blood drives were organized in his honor, and last month, he received a stem-cell transplant after a long and difficult search for a matching donor.

"This was so sought after that once he finally got the match we were calling it his new birth date," said Kevin Murray, a friend and fellow firefighter. "He got the match - finally - after five years."

Murray is among the firefighters who credit Chelsen with saving his life on 9/11. Chelsen saw the south tower collapse and returned to the north tower to tell firefighters there to flee.

"We ran out of the north tower because of him," Murray said. "He ran back through all the jumpers to grab us and rush us out."...

Read more here.

On a Facebook page is this:

Be The Hero for a Hero - Help Roy Chelsen find a Donor

My friend Roy Chelsen worked at my firehouse Engine 28 Ladder 11 for 22 yrs. He was in the WTC collapse on 9/11 and actually saved many FFs lives including mine..(more here)

There is also a transcript of an interview Roy did with a task force about the events of 9/11:


Roy is firefighter
first grade in Engine 28 of the New York
City Fire Department. We're at the quarters
of Engine 28. This interview is regarding
the events of September 11th, 2001.

Q. Roy, would you please tell your story
in your own words about what happened that day
from when you received the alarm.

A. We were actually sitting in the
kitchen, the lieutenant and I, and we actually
heard the first explosion. We both looked at
each other, and we were like, "Oh, what was
that?" It seemed like right after that the alarm
came in and we were on our way downtown.
We took the FDR Drive down, and you
could actually see the building pretty much the
whole way down. The whole three-quarters of the
way up was engulfed in fire. We went down
underneath the Battery Tunnel. We came up. It
was still like flags falling. It seemed like it
was very quiet. I noticed that Bob, the
chauffeur, was kind of swerving around. Later on
I heard he was going around bodies.
He dropped us off underneath the second

Q. The north bridge?

A. The north bridge up by the north tower.
He dropped us off there. We looked up to make
sure nothing was coming down, and we proceeded
in. I think the revolving doors were kind of
busted up, so I think we went through a window.
We reported to the command desk, the
command post there, and we immediately started
going up. They just said, "28, start heading

Q. Do you know what stairway you went up?

A. We went up stairway B. I believe it
was stairway B.
From there on we really didn't hear too
much transmission going on that I can remember
hearing. I had the nozzle position. I had no
radio. But I don't remember the lieutenant
telling me anything. Later on I heard that there
were a lot of maydays and a lot of transmissions
going on, but we didn't hear any of it.
One of the only transmissions I do
remember hearing, because we were sitting on
approximately the 20th floor, that there was
another plane on its way. At that point we were
still not sure that it was a plane that had hit
the tower. There was some talk from the
civilians coming down that a plane hit. The
consensus was that it was a small plane; Never
thinking it was a 737, whatever it was, 767,
whatever it was.
We made our way up to 29 or 30. We
were again resting again. All of a sudden
just -- I don't know if the sequence is right,
but everything went black, and all the power went
out. There was just this rumbling. I felt like
it went on forever....

Read the rest of his chilling account here. (Is a pdf file)

From NY Buff:

Chelsen will have a lasting lifesaving impact because of all the people he inspired to register as blood and bone-marrow donors, friends believe.

"The legacy that he'll leave is opening the door for this blood bank to get massive amounts of people in," said Pete Gleason, a former firefighter who was Chelsen's lawyer. "It saved lives during his lifetime and it will continue to save lives."

Chelsen, who lived in Warwick, Orange County, died peacefully at home surrounded by family and friends about 6 p.m. yesterday, Gleason said. He is survived by his wife, Trish, and son Christopher, 24. (here)


(courtesy of

Rest easy, Sir.

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