Roll of Honor

Vernon A. Richard

Vernon A. Richard

  • Captain
  • Fire Department City of New York
  • New York
  • Age: 53
  • Year of Death: 2001

Vernon Allan Richard was born on October 20‚ 1947 to Juanita Wilcher and the late Harold Richard Sr. in Brooklyn‚ New York. He attended First A.M.E. church as a youth.

He attended the local public school and graduated from Boys High in Brooklyn in 1965 in the top 10% of his class. Vernon was also part of the All City Choir. Vernon pursued his higher education at Kingsboro Community College and Bronx Community College earning 36 credits. In 1967-1969 he served in the United States Army. He spent 13 months in South Korea as a Radio Teletype Communication Sergeant. In 1987-1992 Vernon attended Fire Tech for courses in Fire Science. In 1995 he received a certificate in CPR and became a certified CPR instructor for the New York Fire Academy in 1996.

Vernon married Dorothy Choice on November 28‚ 1970‚ and from this union two children were born: Vernon Allan Richard II‚ and Vernessa Louise Richard.

Vernon was employed with Con Edison in the Bronx before being called to the New York City Fire Department in December 17‚ 1977‚ where he spent 16 years in the busy South Bronx section known as ‘Mott Haven.’ In 1994‚ he was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant. He was the first black appointed from that list‚ scoring a 95. He was assigned to Tower Ladder 7 at 234 E. 29th Street‚ New York‚ until the dreadful day of September 11‚ 2001.

On September 16‚ he was promoted to Captain on national TV. He was the third black appointed from that list. Vernon was a member of various organizations including: The Vulcan Society‚ the International Association of Black Professional Fire Fighters‚ and the Uniformed Fire Officers Association of New York City Fire Department. Vernon was also on the board of the Honor Emergency Fund. In early 2001‚ Vernon became involved with the Teamsters National Black Caucus.

In 1994 Vernon and his family joined First Baptist Church of Spring Valley‚ New York. He was ordained Deacon in June 1996. He joined the Male Choir. He was an advisor of the Community Youth Council group of the church. Vernon did a lot of community work with the youth. Vernon also did counseling and outspeaks with Alcoholics Anonymous in the New York Metropolitan and Rockland Areas. Vernon touched many lives.

Vernon believed in keeping healthy. He religiously took his vitamins and worked out diligently each day. He was a member of the New York Road Runners and Rockland Road Runners Club. Vernon successfully ran and completed six New York City Marathons.

Vernon loved his family and friends. His love‚ devotion and loyalty were evidenced by the use of his time‚ talent and treasure. His life was tribute to humanity; he let his good works speak for him. Vernon believed his family to be his foundation‚ and his wife and to children enhanced his life. He is definitely their ‘Hero.’

Dorothy Richard

  • (will not be published)

Memorial Wall

  1. My son, Stephen Hickey, worked with Capt. Vernon Richards and spoke of him often what a nice guy he was. My son went to his funeral and met his widow and family and told me what nice people they were. My son mourns for Capt. Richards and all the other firemen who lost their lives.
    My best to the family and best of luck getting a school named for him. He deserves it.
    I live in Walnut Creek, Ca.

    – Margaret Hickey Schwartz
  2. I represented Mr Verona Richard 911memoral 110 flight’s of stairs in Indianapolis 23Apr 2016. We have a lot in common besides being firefighters. Being brothers in the Lord and knowing Jesus as our personal Savior, working with youth and serving the community. Being a runner. Can’t wait to meet Bro Vernon in heaven.

    – James Ahrendt
  3. Every year since 2002, I take some time to reflect on the names & faces of all the fine men of FDNY that we lost on 9/11, and every year there is always one face that holds my attention. This year, it is Capt. Richard, and I’m so grateful to his family & friends for sharing his story. My love & prayers for comfort for all who knew & loved Vernon.
    “When he shall die,
 Take him and cut him out in little stars,
 and he will make the face of heaven so fine
 that all the world will be in love with night
, and pay no worship to the garish sun.”
    – Shakespeare, “Romeo & Juliet”

    – Diane
  4. Always thinking of Mr. Richard and how inspiring it was to see him jogging around the neighborhood. We will always miss him and we appreciate all of his contributions and sacrifices. Dot, Vernon Jr, and Vernessa…keep his legacy strong! Love and miss you guys.

    Dominick Burke
  5. Que gusto saber mucho de Vernon Richard, en la estación de Bomberos de San Juan de Miraflores, Lima – Perú, recibimos un camión escalera donado por Mutual Training USA y lleva el nombre en honor VERNON RICHARD

    – Juan Ricardo Venero Benavente
  6. In Colorado and will walk for your loved one tomorrow. My husband worked for the Littleton Fire Department for 41 years. I also walk in his honor as he is unable to do so. Blessings to your family.

    – Patti Seno
  7. I got to know Vernon at Engine 60, Ladder 17, Batt 14 in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx in the 1990’s. As a firefighter from another city who occasionally rode with those units I got to know Vernon pretty well. Nice man and a great guy to work with who knew his job and was very proud to be a member of the FDNY.

    – Arnie Scher
  8. I just saw your wonderful dad’s story and I am so sorry. You are such a beautiful person. Your father would be so proud. I just lost my father FDNY William Rachun and hopfully those 2 will be catching up on old times. Much love. Andrea

    – Andrea Rachun
  9. Deacon Vernon Richards, truly a Man of integrity and great faith. I am honored for the time I knew him

    – Reginald Bakr
  10. Capt. Vernon Richards was a friend of mine. He was a really nice person who always made me smile. When I passed by Engine 60, Ladder 17, Batt 14 in Mott Haven Section of the Bronx, we would talk and he always had a kind word. May he continue to sleep in peace. He is truly missed.

    – Renee Brodwith
  11. I am sorry Vernon could not get home to his family 20 years ago. I had the honor of carrying his image up 110 flights of stairs today. I ran the stairs in honor of his six new york marathons. It was hot, dusty and smokey, but I’m sure it was worse in that stairwell. I will NEVER FORGET your sacrifice.

    – Peter Schultz
  12. I climbed the tower in Charlotte with Mr. Richard’s picture and his story in my heart – he will remain there with gratitude and his family will always be in my prayers. 05.01.2022

    – Kara Reester