Probies Mark FDNY 150th Anniversary with Memorial Tribute

Probationary firefighters line up along the south reflecting pool near the names of FDNY victims. A large wreath stands in the foreground.
Probies lined up along the South Pool near the names of the FDNY victims. Photo by Ben Hider.

Probationary firefighters Matthew Asaro and Brendan Stackpole laid a wreath at the South Pool of the 9/11 Memorial on Wednesday, where the names of the 343 members of the FDNY who were killed in the line of duty on 9/11 are inscribed. A bagpiper played the song “Amazing Grace” as nearly 300 members of the graduating class of the FDNY Probationary Firefighter School looked on.

Asaro and Stackpole were children on the day of the attacks, but both still share a personal connection to the tragedy that took place more than 14 years ago. Their fathers, Carl Francis Asaro, an FDNY firefighter of Battalion 9, and Captain Timothy M. Stackpole of FDNY Ladder 103, were two of the first responders who lost their lives that day.

After completing a rigorous 18-week program, the students, or “probies,” will commit to upholding the department’s values of service, bravery, safety, honor, dedication and preparedness. They’ll join a community of professionals that responds to more than one million emergencies every year, according to the FDNY

Following the tribute, members of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum senior leadership welcomed the probies to the museum. 

“We’ve welcomed guests from all walks of life, including some of the most prominent political, military, and cultural leaders in the world,” Memorial Museum Director Alice Greenwald said. “Among our most cherished visitors are firefighters – not only those from the FDNY but from firehouses across the country and around the world.”

Greenwald told the story of FDNY Captain Patrick “Paddy” Brown, who responded to the North Tower with Ladder Company 3 just minutes after the first plane crashed into the building, and continued the rescue mission while the South Tower was struck, until receiving orders to evacuate after it collapsed. 

Ladder 3 would ultimately lose 11 men during the response. But amid helping countless people to safety, Capt. Brown found a working telephone on the 35th floor and made a phone call to his command to report on the status of his team. 

His message from the North Tower reflects the solemn commitment that these probies will soon exhibit themselves: “This is 3 truck and we’re still heading up.”

The probies had the opportunity to view the Ladder 3 firetruck in the museum, one of many artifacts that tell the story of FDNY’s tremendous role in the 9/11 response. View a selection of photos from the visit. 

By Kaylee Skaar, 9/11 Memorial Communications Manager

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