Line of Duty Funeral for FDNY Lt. Richard Nappi
Thousands of FDNY members gathered on Long Island bid farewell to a hero on Apr. 21, Lt. Richard Nappi of Engine 237, who died in the line of duty on Apr. 16.

The 17-year veteran of the FDNY suffered an apparent heart attack while battling a three-alarm fire the same day in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

“Firefighting isn’t just an occupation – it’s a vocation, a mission and a passion,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said during the service at the Church of Elizabeth Ann Seton in Lake Ronkonkoma. “Today it’s my duty and privilege to praise the memory of one of New York’s Bravest, who understood that.”

Lt. Nappi, 47, was remembered as someone who loved his job as a firefighter. Many said he always got to the firehouse early for his tour and went home late.

His devotion to the job was evident on Sept. 11, 2001, when he responded from home. He then continued to help at the site – whether it was search and rescue or extinguishing pockets of fire – for months after the tragedy.

He also volunteered on Long Island both as a trainer at the Suffolk County Fire Academy in Yaphank and a firefighter in the Farmingville Fire Department.

“Rich was very serious about his work as a firefighter and very committed, not just in learning everything he could about the job, but sharing that knowledge with others,” Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano said.

But beyond his love for the job, he also adored his family, including his wife, Mary Anne, and children Catherine, 12, and Nicholas, 11. At the request of his firehouse, the FDNY Foundation set up a scholarship fund for Lt. Nappi’s children.

“He was a fun-loving guy who was full of life and loved to talk,” Firefighter Michael Babino, Engine 7, said. “He was always good natured … and we’re going to really miss him.”

Firefighter Brian Dillon, Engine 237, reminded the Lieutenant’s family that they will always be a part of the FDNY.

“Mary Anne, [the members of Engine] 237 will always be a part of your life. We’ll always be here for you.”
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