B.C. Orio Palmer

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Orio Palmer was the Battalion Chief of Battalion 7, and among the most visited faces of Better Angels on tour. 45-years-old, a 20-year FDNY vet, father of three, marathoner and 5x winner of the FDNY’s physical fitness award – which was renamed for him after 9/11. Palmer personally fixed an elevator in the South Tower and took it to the 41st floor, then RAN up the next 37 flights of stairs to reach the 78th floor SkyLobby, which was where the tip of the wing pierced the building at the lowest level. He maintained radio communication with the lobby command post during the first 15 minutes of his ascent, after 9:21 his transmissions were recorded and could only be analyzed later. “Listening to Palmer and his comrades on the recovered tape, one can hear the urgency of men working at high efficiency, but there was never a hint that the clock was running out on them.” At 9:28 Palmer and his team managed to free evacuees trapped in an elevator. At 9:29 the South Tower came down and took all of them with it. The Washington Post wrote that Palmer and his crew had played an “indispensable role in ensuring calm in the stairwells, assisting the injured and guiding the evacuees on the lower floors.”


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