Episode 224 - Gerard Fitzgerald

Gerard Fitzgerald[7945].jpg

Gerard Fitzgerald is the President of the Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York (UFA), the civil servants union that represents the over 8,000 firefighters that make up the FDNY.

Twenty years ago Gerard followed his father – a retired NYPD Detective – into a life as a civil servant, when he joined the FDNY.

Gerard was a 9/11 first responder and was on the line of duty on September 11, 2001. He was assigned with four other firefighters to a captain and together they were searching for injured victims while also putting out fires. The night of September 11, while Gerard and his team were still working, he explicitly remembers working in a hotel building and having to man a hose line out of a window as the team tried to control an inferno that was destroying the building next door. Since that day, he has continued to be involved in 9/11-related issues.

Over the past five years he’s worked in the union as an advocate for its members, serving as the Sergeant at Arms and as the Health and Safety officer. In this role, he worked with sick and dying members while also serving on the World Trade Center steering committee – which oversees the control and implementation of the World Trade Center monitoring program.

He was a part UFA leadership when the Zadroga Act was renewed in 2015, and worked tirelessly to ensure that health care for those sickened due to the toxins in the air around Ground Zero in the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks would not be at risk of no longer being funded.

This May, Gerard was elected as UFA President.

He is a lifelong Brooklyn resident and currently resides in South Brooklyn, where he is husband to Eileen and father to children Casey and Melissa.

UFA Website:

https://www.ufanyc.org/

Recommended Books:

Collapse of Burning Buildings: A Guide to Fireground Safety - Vincent Dunn

Recommended Documentary:

9/11

Recommended TV:

Rescue Me