Justice Must Be Done: Firefighter Wrongly Denied Service Recognition

By ARTHUR O’BRIEN | Oct 04, 2017

Courtesy of: Arthur O’BrienThe author’s grandfather poses in uniform early in his FDNY career.
Justice for Firefighter

A few years after I retired, I was searching online to view the New York Fire Department’s Memorial Wall. I fully expected to see my grandfather’s name listed, as I was always told he, my paternal grandfather firefighter Thomas F. O’Brien, had died after sustaining an injury in a fire. After further research and inquiries, I learned that the FDNY had not recognized my grandfather’s death as in the line of duty and would not consider deeming it so until further information was provided.

I filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FDNY in hopes of obtaining facts relating to the fire, the injury and/or an internal investigative report into the death. The FDNY responded that it did not have any information concerning the matter.

Undeterred, I obtained a copy of the autopsy report, which confirmed that the death was a direct result of a head injury sustained at a fire. This additional information, which the FDNY first deputy commissioner admits they did not have, was not enough to sway the FDNY administration to reverse an almost eight-decade-old decision.

Read More: The Sandpaper.net

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