National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Battalion Chief
Age: 57
Year of Death: 2001

Richard A. Prunty

Battalion Chief Richard A. Prunty (Rich)

Six months after the attacks on America‚ CBS aired a special that provided a glimpse into what occurred inside the towers. Amidst a crowd of firefighters in the lobby of the North Tower‚ the camera zooms in on Battalion Chief Richard Prunty. The voice of French filmmaker Jules Naudet remarks‚ ‘There’s Chief Prunty. Great guy – white hair‚ mustache. The perfect kind of grandfather that you would like to have.’ Husband to Susan‚ father to Christopher and Lisa‚ Rich would have been a superb grandfather.

After graduating from Alfred State Tech in 1963 with an Associates degree in Applied Science‚ Rich performed electrical work for the New York Subway system. For nearly 2 years (1966-1967)‚ he served in South Korea during the Vietnam War‚ maintaining the radars and radios within the demilitarized zone‚ or ‘Freedom’s Frontier’ as Rich referred to it in jest.

In November 1968‚ he joined the Fire Department. Later‚ in 1978 he graduated cum laude with a Bachelor of Science degree from NYIT (New York Institute of Technology). Rich served nearly 33 years – first as firefighter‚ then Lieutenant‚ then Captain‚ finally Battalion Chief. Each promotion required intense studies to pass difficult tests.

Rich was born in Brooklyn‚ New York‚ part of a large family‚ and grew up in Lake Ronkonkoma‚ Long Island‚ where he attended Sachem High School. After marrying‚ he spent the rest of his life in Sayville with his wife and children.

Rich was a quiet gentleman‚ but he chose his words carefully‚ and – when produced – his smile and laughter were endearing. His appearance was somewhat gruff at first glance‚ but Rich was always there to lend help and kindness – to anyone.

His last sacrifice was true to his nature – to the nature of most everyone who serves their community or nation. A certain kind of person is drawn to those professions – the kind willing to give all that’s within for another human being.

While still in radio contact with fellow trapped firefighters‚ Rich managed to relay his final message: ‘Please tell my wife and children that I love them very much.’

Lisa Prunty

Memorial Posts


Memorial Wall

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  1. I had the honor to carry Chief Prunty yesterday in the first ever North Dakota 9/11 stair climb. I am the Assistant Chief of Mayville Fire & Rescue, Mayville North Dakota. I climbed in full gear and SCBA and after completing the 110 stories I helped encourage another firefighter to complete the climb and did another 18 stories to finish with him. We as firefighters will never forget!

    – Aaron Lande
  2. As we reach yet another anniversary of 9/11, our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the brave men & women who gave their lives to save others over & over again. I will never forget that day, as I know others will never forget either.

    – Diane Croughwell
  3. Our prayers and gratitude will forever be there for the people who voluntarily risked and or lost their lives to save others

    – Arlene Rogers
  4. It was an honor to climb in memory of Chief Richard Prunty at the Kalamazoo Stair Climb. May we never forget his sacrifice.

    – Sara Groenheide
  5. It was my honor to carry Battalion Chief Richard A Prunty in the Tri Cities 9-11 Memorial Stair Climb today. As Americans, we are forever in his debt for his sacrifice as well as the sacrifice of his family. I pray for his family. I pray for all first responders and I pray for our great Country. God Bless America.

    – Dawn M Short
  6. I graduated long after Richard, from Alfred State, same curriculum, God bless him and his service.

    – Don Swanz
  7. I was a Lieutenant in L-18 with Battalion 4. Chief Prunty worked with us numerous tours. Another gentleman that I’ve rubbed elbows with ..
    Lt. Richard Naples L-18 retired 2002.

    – Rich Naples
  8. Mr Prunty you sound like an amazing man. GOD bless you and all your fellow emergency workers who were so brave and selfless.

    – Gillian Winwood
  9. On Sept 16, 2020, I climbed in full gear, on-air for Chief Prunty. I got you to the top Sir! NEVER FORGET!!

    – Jake Frame
  10. Thinking of you and your dad Lisa and what your dad meant to your family and this country.

    – Nicola Cooke Allen
  11. I’m very sorry for your loss Lisa, you might not remember me I went to school with you at Sunrise Drive Elementary school and Sayville Jr. High School.

    – David Feldman
  12. Thinking of you and the family Lisa as I always do on 9/11.

    – Nicola Allen