Engine Company 5 Honors First Responder Who Died of Cancer

IMG_7603Annie Fairman

Days after local firehouses commemorated September 11, 2001, Engine Company Five dedicated a plaque to the late Raymond Ragucci, a retired firefighter who died last year, just a week shy of the ten-year anniversary of the attacks.

Mr. Ragucci, a first responder to ground zero, died on Sept. 4, at the age of 59, from complications relating to a bone marrow transplant during treatment of myelodysplastic syndrome.

Today’s ceremony, attended by Mr. Ragucci’s family, started just after 11:30 a.m. Fire engines and black sedans lined a stretch of 14th Street between First and Second Avenues, and bagpipe players and uniformed members of several fire companies gathered in front of the station door.

IMG_7605Annie Fairman

Mr. Ragucci is one of many firefighters who succumbed to cancer believed by family members and coworkers to be linked to their work at ground zero. In January of last year, the Local reported on the passing of Roy Chelsen, a first responder who died at age 51 from cancer of the bone marrow. The Daily News reported yesterday on the passing of another first responder and veteran police officer due to a rare form of cancer.

On Monday the World Trade Center Health Program announced the addition of 50 types of cancer to the list of ailments eligible for medical coverage through the public fund. As the Times reported, this will also allow victims to apply for compensation through the September 11th Victims Fund. According to the city’s Website, the World Trade Center Health Program will begin offering coverage in mid-October.