The pair were among a dozen honorees at the department’s 110th annual memorial ceremony, a day of remembrance and reflection for the department’s active duty members lost in the last 12 months.
Each of the Bravest cited Wednesday brought the department’s particular brand of courage to work each and every day, according to FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro.
“All of the members we honor today possessed that bravery,” Nigro told the large crowd assembled at the Firemen’s Memorial on Riverside Drive.
“They displayed it every day of their careers. We honor them all — not for the way that they died, but for the incredible way in which they lived.”
Dozens of American flags flanked the marble memorial festooned with purple bunting and floral arrangements. Nigro was joined by Mayor de Blasio and other top FDNY brass for the memorial.
“This is one of the most solemn and humbling ceremonies each year in this city,” said the mayor. “And it causes us to reflect, first and foremost, on the lives of the good people we’ve lost and their service to us.”
Tolley and Arroyo were the department’s only line of duty deaths.
Tolley, 42, the married dad of an 8-year-old girl, died in a freak five-story fall while responding to a Queens apartment building fire in April.
“When we think about that devotion that is so strong in the FDNY, there is no greater example than firefighter William Tolley,” said the mayor.”
One month earlier, the 44-year-old Arroyo was run over and killed by a deranged man trying to steal her ambulance. The 14-year veteran EMT was survived by five sons.
Relatives of both Tolley and Arroyo received the Department Medal of Valor.
The other honorees were active duty members who passed away in the last year, including 9/11 victim Kevin Rooney. The 38-year-old Bronx native was diagnosed with stage-four cancer eight months before his January death.
Nigro told the crowd that an FDNY job came with a hard truth: Each year, there will be colleagues to mourn when October rolls around.
The FDNY has lost 1,147 members on the job and another 159 to 9/11-related illnesses.
“Sadly, those numbers will continue to grow because all of you face very real dangers in this job,” said Nigro.
“And yes, you run into burning buildings — you know it, I know it, every New Yorker knows it. It takes great bravery to do your jobs.”