Assistant Deputy Chief Gerard “Gerry” Barbara, 53, was a Citywide Tour Commander. This 31-year FDNY veteran arrived on the scene before the second tower was hit. He then took the role of Incident Commander in Tower Two.
Earlier in his career, “the biggest Yankees fan that ever was” had been Chief of Fire Prevention for the FDNY. A highlight was being called to inspect Yankee Stadium after a 500-pound chunk of concrete fell from the upper deck in 1998.
Named the 1999 Man of the Year by the Columbia Association (the FDNY’s Italian-American fraternal organization), Barbara “was one of the finest people I ever knew,” said the director of the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Management. “An absolute class act, a consummate professional whose word was his bond, whose knowledge was his craft.” At his funeral at St. Patrick’s he was remembered as ”a man who never panicked in an emergency.”