Roll of Honor

Martin C. Simmons

Martin C. Simmons

  • Firefighter
  • Fire Department City of New York
  • New York
  • Age: 41
  • Year of Death: 2008

Marty was dedicated to helping others and serving his community. In 1987, he was sworn in to the NYC Police Department. His dream was to be an FDNY firefighter. Four years later his dream was realized when his FDNY list number was reached. Marty quickly submitted his transfer paperwork and was sworn in as a firefighter in 1991. He dutifully served for 17 years, becoming one of the senior men at L111 in Bedford Stuyvesant, New York.

On September 11, 2001, the U.S. was under attack. Marty was off duty and at home with his family when he learned of the attacks. Without hesitation, he said goodbye to his family and left to report for duty. No words spoken could change his mind. He arrived at the Twin Towers just after the first collapse. He soon learned that five members of his house were missing. Marty remained at the site, searching in hopes of rescue for five days before returning home to see his family. He left again the next day and continued to report to the site every day that he was not assigned to his firehouse. Unfortunately, the five members perished in the collapse.

Marty strongly believed in the brotherhood and was assigned to a firehouse, E214-L111, where fire department tradition was embedded. He was not going to stop until every firefighter was returned to their families. He continued his efforts through April 2002. Marty developed respiratory illnesses, including asthma, from the countless hours, days, and months that he spent at the site. On July 21, 2008, Marty went into respiratory failure and could not be saved. While his life ended much too soon, it is certain he would not have done anything different on September 11.

Marty had two great loves in his life, the FDNY and his family. He was a devoted husband to Judi and a dedicated father to Joe, Kevin, and Ryan. Marty always put his family first. In the community he became known as “Coach Marty.” He happily coached all three of his sons in every sport they played (soccer, baseball, basketball, football, and lacrosse). He instilled his sense of fair play and hard work. Marty did more with his sons in the short time they had than many dads are able to in a lifetime. The foundation that was built is evident today in the kind of men each of his sons have grown into. Judi, Joe, Kevin, and Ryan keep his memory alive through scholarships and athletic programs.

Marty’s passing left a hole in the hearts of his wife, Judi, and their three sons, Joe, Kevin, and Ryan. He is forever celebrated for all he has given to his family. Not a day passes that he is not thought of, spoken about, or missed.

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Memorial Wall

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