Project Roll Call

Philip Ferraro

  • Firefighter
  • Cliffside Park Fire Department
  • New Jersey
  • Age: 36
  • Year of Death: 1973

Phil Ferraro was 36 years of age, a 7-year veteran of the same career department, and a graduate of Cliffside Park High School. He as well, followed in his father’s footsteps to serve in the fire department. Phil was married and the father of 3 children, his youngest, a daughter was 6 months old. Phil was serving his second term as President of FMBA local # 45. Phil was well liked and respected by his peers locally as well as in neighboring communities. He was an active member of the Epiphany Church’s Holy Name Society and the parish’s senior boys CYO Basketball coach. He loved baseball and was determined to put a fire department softball team together that could beat neighboring Fort Lee Fire Company #4. He created a very healthy rivalry in the process.

On Sunday, November 4, 1973, at 1:38 in the afternoon both men answered their final alarm. A building fire was reported at 783 Palisade Avenue, a mixed-use occupancy that contained The Founders Restaurant on the first floor, and multiple apartments on the second floor. Firefighters Ferraro and Chormanski entered the smoke-filled basement in an attempt to locate victims and find the seat of the fire. Both members ran out of breathing air and perished before they could reach the stairs to exit.

In the face of danger, and without concern for their own wellbeing they performed their duties with courage and without hesitation. They honored the sworn oaths they took to protect lives and property and in doing so, made the supreme sacrifice leaving their families, their fire department and the community they served in unimaginable grief. Over 1,000 firefighters and first responders turned out for their joint funeral mass at St. John’s Church. The Chormanski and Ferraro families lived in neighboring apartments in the same multiple family home on Gorge Road.

This firefighter line of duty fatality occurred before the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial was built in Emmitsburg, Maryland. While this firefighter has not been officially honored at the Memorial site, there are plans to do so when resources are available.

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Memorial Wall

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