FDNY Ronald Spadafora Funeral

Marla Diamond/WCBS 880

Final Farewell To Hero FDNY Chief Who Died Of 9/11-Related Illness

June 29, 2018 - 1:26 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The FDNY bid a final farewell to one of their own Friday. 

Dozens of firefighters and EMTs lined Fifth Avenue in front of St. Thomas Church to pay their last respects to Ronald Spadafora, who served 40 years with the department before dying from 9/11-related cancer.

There was no casket at his funeral. In tribute to his fallen brothers, Spadafora's flag-draped body was carried into the church in a stokes basket -- the same type used to carry 9/11 heroes out of the pit.

Spadafora started his career at Engine 237 in Brooklyn in 1978.

Following the 9/11 attacks, Spadafora was appointed to supervising the entire rescue and recovery operation at Ground Zero. He would go on to become chief of Fire Prevention, training thousands of firefighters.

Spadafora died Saturday. He was 63.

Chief of Fire Prevention Ronald R. Spadafora

"Ron Spadafora was a consummate professional fire chief who bravely served our city for 40 years, and toiled for months at the World Trade Center site after September 11th, leading the Department's rescue and recovery efforts," said Fire Commissioner Nigro. "In his extraordinary career, he fought fires in all five boroughs, improved training for every FDNY member, and as the Chief of Fire Prevention for the last eight years, Ron's dedication and leadership led to greater safety and protection for millions of New Yorkers.”

Spadafora is survived by his son, Brian, and his longtime partner, Rhonda Roland-Shearer.

Spadafora was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia in December 2015. He was the 178th firefighter to die of 9/11-related illness.