Having just turned 66 last week, Joe Higgins can say with pride that he's spent nearly all his life as an employee of the New York City Fire Department. Retiring in 2006 as the Deputy Director of Dispatch Operations for all five boroughs of New York as well as the NYFD Fire Commissioner's Liaison, Higgins worked his way through the ranks to earn his title of prestige. However, nabbing the title of "A Real Class Act" – what he was called on an honorary retirement plaque, one of dozens that hang on his home walls – well you'd have to know Higgins to understand how he earned that one.
Though a pretty funny guy now, Higgins has had his share of heartache following the tragic events of Sept. 11, in which he lost dozens of fellow NYFD friends. He was at Ground Zero just after the first tower was hit and he watched many of his most beloved friends leave their posts to face untimely deaths.
Higgins shared a peak at his NYFD memorabilia collection, including some remnants of the Twin Towers. Enjoy these photos until we can bring you a more in-depth story about Higgins' life and service. Check back next week because you won't want to miss it!
Higgins is also preparing for several public speaking engagements in the next two weeks where he will inform the public about his experience in dispatch operations for NYFD and share tales of that fateful day in late 2001 when every American's life changed forever. For more information about his upcoming engagement in Branford at St. Mary's Church on Sept. 14, click .