After serving with the U.S. Marine Corps in the Middle East, Ray Downey was appointed to the New York City Fire Department in 1962. Chief Downey’s phenomenal 39-year career with the FDNY was built upon success after success and rescue after rescue. One of the most decorated men in the department, Chief Downey received five individual medals for valor and 16 unit citations. Additionally, referred to as “The Master of Disaster” and “God”, Downey, commanding officer of the Special Operations Command (SOC), died in the line of duty while helping others escape from the fire and collapse scene of the World Trade Center on Tuesday, September 11, 2001. He was truly a legend in his own time.
The Deputy Chief Raymond M. Downey Scholarship Charity Fund All proceeds from the race will benefit the organizations supported by the family of Ray Downey.
As a tribute to Chief Downey's legacy, his family has established the D.C. Raymond Downey Scholarship Charity Fund to keep his memory alive and to benefit the many organizations that Chief Downey cherished.
By Chief Raymond M. Downey, SOC, FDNY FAS.org, (New York, NY), 03/21/98
Good morning Mr. Chairman and committee members. My name is Ray Downey and I'm the Chief of Rescue Operations for the Fire Department in the City of New York. First I would like to thank you for holding this hearing today. The Fire Service greatly appreciates the fact that your committee has concerns regarding WMD. The fire service is greatly concerned being first responders that will eventually have to deal with the issues of WMD.
by: Ellen Yan, Washington Bureau, newsday.com, 12/19/01
Washington - A congressional honor for perished rescuers, a new name for a Deer Park post office and an inspiration day won House passage yesterday as local lawmakers continued to respond to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
nytimes.com , 10/22/01
Raymond M. Downey was the battalion chief in charge of special operations in the New York City Fire Department.
Here's his son, Chuck, a fire lieutenant: "Dad joined the Fire Department on April 7, 1962. Coming on in the 60's, they went to a lot of fires. The war years, they termed it. In 1995 he was assigned to Special Operations Command, SOC is the acronym, as chief of rescue operations. . . .
firehouse.com, (New York, NY), 12/16/01
NEW YORK (AP) -- Thousands of firefighters gathered Saturday at a memorial for their fallen colleague Ray Downey, one of three top Fire Department officials lost in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.