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  Public Employee Press

9/11 Special Issue
Table of Contents
  La Voz

Public Employee Press

When the World Trade Center collapsed, four DC 37 members were killed, including an OTB Clerk, a Chaplain and two Paramedics from the Fire Department.


Chet Louie
Betting Clerk, Local 2021

Of the 2,801 people who died in the World Trade Center, four were members of District Council 37. Betting Clerk Chet Louie worked nights as a member of Off Track Betting Employees Local 2021 and days at Cantor Fitzgerald, the investment firm that occupied five floors at the top of the North Tower. The brokerage lost 685 employees Sept. 11, including Mr. Louie.

Three other DC 37 members fell in the line of duty. New York City Fire Dept. Chaplain Father Mychal Judge, 68, died just after he gave last rites to a Firefighter. Paramedics Carlos Lillo, 37, and Ricardo Quinn, 40, were two of the eight Emergency Medical Service workers wholike hundreds of Firefighters and Police Officersran into the towers to rescue others but did not make it out alive.

Father Mychal F. Judge
Chaplain, Local 299

Appointed as Chaplain to the FDNY in 1992, "Father Mike" earned a deeply felt affection from the Firefighters he served. He often ate dinner at Engine Co. 1across West 31st Street from St. Francis Church.

"He had a wonderful personality - compassionate and funny. He tried to connect with everyone he met," said Fire Captain Brenda Berkman, who got to know him after she was assigned to the 31st St. station in 1994.

Father John Delendick, a fellow Chaplain, recalls his friend fondly: "Every Thursday he walked from St. Francis to Coney Island, making various stops along the way. He always made the same lunch at our rectory, a peanut butter sandwich. He was famous for so many thingshis late night phone calls, his sayings, like "What are you worried about? God's with you!"

Father Judge was active with AA and helped many Firefighters who had alcohol problems. Father Peter Brophy of St. Francis Church recalls that in the mid-'80s, "He set up a ministry for people with AIDS and provided them with whatever they neededfood, clothes, visits, the sacraments."

Firefighter Tom Ryan said that Father Mike offered support to people when it mattered. The Franciscan Friar opened the doors of St. Francis Church to DIGNITY, a group of gay activists in the Catholic Church, at their time of need.

Mr. Ryan learned of his death one-half hour after he got to the disaster site. "To be told Father Judge was dead and inside St. Peter's Church was like getting hit with a baseball batit was a symbol of how bad the day would be," he said.

On 9/11, Father Delendick was given his friend's white helmet. "He had to die. It would have destroyed him if he couldn't get involved with every family of every dead Firefighter."

Carlos Lillo
Paramedic, Local 2507

Carlos Lillo came to New York City from Puerto Rico at 15 with his parents, two brothers and two sisters.

"He was a very caring individual. He was always concerned about others," said his widow, Cecilia. His caring nature led him to his chosen career in the Emergency Medical Service, and ultimately to his death.

The 37-year-old Lillo spent 17 years in the EMS. "He was very ambitious. He wanted to do as much as possible," says Mrs. Lillo. He was involved in hazardous materials training and was hoping to take the exam for lieutenant.

Mr. Lillo achieved a piece of his American dream when they purchased a new home in North Babylon. His other dream, unfulfilled, was to start a family.

His legacy extends beyond the hometown street renamed in his honor. After lobbying by Local 2507, the legislature and governor enacted a law providing line-of-duty death benefits for Mr. Lillo and Ricardo Quinn similar to those provided for Police Officers and Firefighters. While the union is seeking to broaden the legislation, the legacy of this contribution is gratifying to his widow. "This will make a difference in the future for other Paramedics and EMTs and their families," she said.

Cecilia Lillo was able to tell her husband that she was proud of the job he did. Now she finds comfort in the fact that people around the world consider him a hero, too.

Ricardo Quinn

Paramedic, Lieutenant, Local 3621

At 40, Ricardo Quinn was 5 feet 9 inches tall, stocky, strong and vivacious. As a carpenter, bouts of unemployment strained his family finances. He studied for long hours to become an Emergency Medical Technician and Paramedic and was advancing toward a physician's Assistant license when he died.

After EMT school, Mr. Quinn chose to work in Brooklynin Bedford Stuyvesant and at Woodhull Hospital. "He wanted to be where the action was," says widow Virginia Quinn.

The Paramedic had an artistic side: "He loved to draw and paint." He was famous for his life-size sand sculptures at Jones Beach." she said.

His family was the core of his life. He worked the night shift to be home for son Kevin, getting him off to school and waiting for him when he came home. "He was a great father and a great husband," says Mrs. Quinn. "His children were his life. He had many dreams for their future. Now that two of his three sons are in college, he would be so proud."

Mrs. Quinn is grateful for the support offered to her and to Cecilia Lillo by Local 2507 and the union's EMS Memorial Foundation. "From day one, in every way, they were there for us." Now, she travels to Jones Beach, where she first met her husband. A tribute at the beach honors his memory. "People write beautiful things in the memorial book," says Mrs. Quinn. "It makes me feel good. They remember his sculptures and the fun things he made. He had such talent." The Fire Dept. posthumously promoted Mr. Quinn to the rank of Lieutenant.



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