30-Year FDNY Veteran Is First Active Member to Die of COVID-19

The New York City Fire Department on Sunday announced the death of its first active member who has died from COVID-19 complications.

Joseph Ferrugia was a 30-year veteran of the FDNY and he was assigned to Ladder Company 142 in Queens, according to the department. Ferrugia was among the first responders who helped save lives at the World Trade Center following the 9/11 attacks. He was 61.

While Ferrugia was the first active FDNY member to die from the coronavirus, 12 other members of the department have died from the disease caused by the virus, said Fire Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro.

“This horrific illness has taken far too many lives, and now it has killed a man who bravely served New Yorkers for three decades," Nigro said. "He ran toward danger his entire career, searching for those trapped by flames and doing all he could to save them. Our entire Department mourns his loss.” 

Ferrugia was a resident of Long Island. He is survived by his three children and three siblings, according to the FDNY-Uniformed Firefighters Association.

"New York City Firefighters and their families are a tight-knit group, which makes this tragedy especially heartbreaking and devastating to us all," union president Andrew Ansbro said in a news release.

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