Twenty-two years after the attack on the World Trade Center in New York City, Tucson Fire Department Chief Chuck Ryan still remembers his friend and mentor, Raymond M. Downey Sr.

Downey was the battalion chief in charge of special operations for the New York City Fire Department on the day the Twin Towers fell, and one of 343 members of FDNY who died in the attack.

“You know, Ray was the quintessential Irish New Yorker, amazing sense of humor.” Chief Ryan said. “He was truly a fireman’s fireman, you know, he cared deeply about the folks that worked for him that he commanded.”

Downey was born in Sunnyside Queens and worked for FDNY for 39 years. He was a founding member of the FEMA Urban Search & Rescue Team network, responding to everything from Hurricane Hugo to the bombing at the Atlanta Olympics, according to the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation web site.

“He just instilled in me a lot of really solid qualities about what a good chief officer should be,” Chief Ryan said.