Raymond Meisenheimer, 46, had been planning to retire at the end of 2001. A technical rescue expert on Rescue 3, Ray also served on the FEMA Urban Search and Rescue Team that was immediately called in after 9/11 to search at Ground Zero. At the Suffolk Fire Academy on Long Island where he taught, Meisenheimer was also responsible for setting the curriculum. In Hauppauge, NY, he was a captain and led their technical rescue program. A friend from the fire academy said Ray knew structures and knew when something wasn’t right. “If a building did collapse, he was one of the guys you’d want there because he would figure a way to get in there and get anybody out.”
He and his wife had been planning their post-retirement dream house with cathedral ceilings, arched windows and room to display his fire truck collection. Ray left behind two daughters.