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.
Some things you learn about people only after they've gone. For the family of Raymond Downey, the manila folder was like that.
Downey headed the New York City Fire Department's special operations command and was one of the most decorated firefighters in the city. From his ruddy complexion to his habit of running into smoky buildings without a mask, Downey seemed to many of his colleagues to represent the very essence of what it meant to be a firefighter - so much so that some of them jokingly called him "God."
by: Marsha Kranes, nypost.com, 12/15/01
The life of Chief Ray Downey, the most decorated firefighter in the land, will be celebrated today at a memorial service attended by top dignitaries and thousands of firefighters from all parts of the United States.
Downey, deputy chief of Special Operations for the FDNY and a nationally recognized expert in rescue and recovery efforts, was lost in the rubble of the World Trade Center.
Among the dignitaries traveling to Deer Park, L.I., to pay tribute to the 39-year FDNY veteran are Gov. Pataki, Mayor Giuliani and Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen.
Pataki, in the eulogy he's prepared for the memorial, praises Downey as a hero among heroes:
By: Oliver Libaw and Kristie Kiernan, ABCNEWS.com, 10/23/2001
The pin - a guardian angel wearing a fireman's helmet - was a gift from New York City Deputy Fire Chief Ray Downey to his wife Rosalie, a present for their 40th wedding anniversary last April.
"When he saw this angel pin with a fire helmet he knew she would love it and bought it for her," says Ray's daughter Marie Tortorici, adding that her father bought matching pins for her, her sister Kathy and her three sisters-in-law.