Jerry Keane via Crowdrise
October 15, 2012
EVENT DATE: Dec 01, 2012
On November 23, 2008, Lt. Bobby Ryan heroically lost his life while operating at a 2nd Alarm fire at 39 Van Buren St., in the New Brighton neighborhood of Staten Island. He was more than a hero of the FDNY for more than 19 years; he was also a hero to children across Staten Island.
Just two days before Lt. Ryan’s death On November 21, 2008, Bobby notified the staff at SIUH Jerome Finkelstein Regional Burn Center that he was coming in on December 18th to bring toys to the children of the burn center, with him would be the firefighters from Engine 155, and Ladder 78.
Bobby began what is now a tradition three years earlier after suffering burns in a house fire in Brooklyn in 2006. The brave firefighter was severely burned after his protective helmet melted from the extreme temperature, landing him in the burn center.
During Lt. Ryan’s treatment at the Burn Center, he was surprised to see how many children the center treated, “Eight out of every ten beds were children” said Lt. Ryan in a 2006 interview, Bobby said he was awed by the professionalism and compassion he witnessed at the burn center” Your family is under stress when a loved one in burned, whether it’s a child, toddler or an adult, they care for the whole family when you are there.”
Bobby made it his mission to put a smile on all the children of the burn center. The Lt. Ryan toy drive has become an annual event for the children of the burn center with the help of Lt. Ryan’s comrades.
In 2012, Bobby's family and friends are recognizing his passion, commitment and continuing on with his event. Bobby's life story is great. This year, we will host the Lt. Ryan Toy Story event at the grammar school where early chapters of Bobby story were written. Bobby's grammar school journal (link...) describes these life chapters in his words. His stories will make you remember, laugh, cry and cherish the friendship that he extended to all of us.
Bobby loved a good Brooklyn Block Party. So we will celebrate his life, his charity and his stories with a good old fashioned block party at St. Thomas Aquinas on December 1, 2012. Bring your pictures, your memories and your coolers. We will see you there!