Funeral held for retired firefighter; voice of 9/11 health care

Posted: Updated:
HICKSVILLE -

Firefighters lined the streets of Hicksville Friday to pay tribute to FDNY firefighter Ray Pfeifer – who successfully lobbied Congress to pass and then renew the Zadroga 9/11 Health & Compensation Act. 

Pfeifer, 59, died Sunday after fighting a 9/11-related illness for several years. He had spent eight months working at Ground Zero after the attacks in Downtown Manhattan. 

"Ray always did his job by leading by example, even when he was diagnosed with the cancer, he never complained," said ex-Chief Carl Pugliese. 

Pfeifer, a 27-year veteran of the FDNY and volunteer with the East Meadow department, took more than a dozen trips to Washington, D.C. to convince lawmakers that 9/11 responders and volunteers needed medical coverage. His fellow Zadroga Act advocate John Feal was in tears, promising to retire his first responders memorial bell and give it to Pfeifer's wife.

"We're going to give Caryn our bell that gets rung after each name is read…and the new bell that goes up will be the Ray Pfeifer Memorial Bell," said Feal. 

Comedian Jon Stewart, who also lobbied Congress with Pfeifer, was among those who spoke at Pfeifer's funeral service at Holy Family Roman Catholic Church in Hicksville.

Pfeifer was laid to rest at Holy Rood Cemetery in Westbury.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to news12.com while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."