National Fallen Firefighters Foundation

Roll of Honor

Chief of Department
Age: 54
Year of Death: 2001

Peter J. Ganci Jr.

Peter J. Ganci‚ Jr. was the Chief of Department‚ FDNY‚ the highest ranking uniformed officer. Pete died at the WTC while performing his duties. He was appointed to the FDNY on September 14‚ 1968 and assigned as a firefighter to Engine 92 in the Bronx and then to 111 truck in Brooklyn. His climb to the top began as Lieutenant‚ Ladder 124‚ August 1977. While at Ladder 124‚ serving as a lieutenant‚ Pete was awarded the B.C. Frank Tuttlemondo medal in 1982 for performing an act of bravery and courage when he rescued a child from a burning apartment that was heavily engulfed in smoke‚ heat and fire.

Knowing that children were trapped‚ Ganci and his men were determined to rescue them. Ganci watched for an opening in the flames. When he spotted a niche opening‚ he scampered under the rolling wave of flames‚ past the protection of the line‚ to begin his search for life. Throwing burning furnishings out of his path‚ Ganci pushed on with his quest through the first bedroom and into the next. As he crawled through the punishing heat‚ midway through the search of the second room‚ Ganci found the lifeless form of 5-1/2 year old Lydia Perez. Scooping her up‚ he headed for the front window and help. Positioned between the hose line and the fire‚ Ganci absorbed unbelievable punishment because of the fan-like effects a hose line has on a fire. He began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation on Lydia. Then he handed his little charge over to another firefighter and returned to the fight where assisted with the removal of another victim through the breached wall.

B.C. Robert Scalone of the 28th Battalion‚ after investigating this incident wrote‚ ‘without regard for his own safety‚ Ganci‚ with unerring skill and accuracy‚ moved into an atmosphere heavily charged with heat and smoke. If it were not for his quick‚ skillful actions‚ the rescued child would certainly have perished.’ When the incident was discussed with Pete Ganci‚ he summed it all up very succinctly by saying‚ ‘When a firefighter realizes that someone is being robbed of life by fire‚ adrenalin and determination replace any thoughts of personal safety.’

It was this same determination that Chief Ganci‚ on September 11th as the Chief of Department‚ led and directed the most successful rescue operation of the modern era. Over 30‚000 people were saved because of Chief Ganci and his fellow firefighters.

His career achievements included Captain‚ 1983; Battalion Chief‚ 1987; Deputy Chief 1993; Deputy Assistant Chief in charge of Bureau of Fire Investigation‚ 1994; Assistant Chief of Operations‚ 1996; Chief of operations 1997-99; Acting Chief of Department‚ 1998-99; and Chief of Department‚ October 1999 to September 11‚ 2001.

Although Pete will always be recognized for his distinguished accomplishments in the FDNY‚ his greatest legacy will live on through his Family. Pete Ganci‚ a loving husband to his wife Kathy‚ a devoted father to his children‚ Peter‚ Chris‚ and Danielle‚ will be remembered for his quick wit‚ his zest for life and his unforgettable smile.

Memorial Posts


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  1. im writing an essay about Peter, its amazing how a man took his life to save many other people. I respect him in so many ways. may he rest in peace. sorry for his family, his wife and children. you guys are in my prayers.

    – lauraa
  2. I feel very emotional tonight as September 10th is my birthday and I lost my husband in December 2001 three months after 9/11 when Peter Ganci died. We met Pete and Kathy in Tampa when they were staying with I think Kathy’s Dad. I just want to say that my lovely Man got on so well with Pete and I hope that their kids are ok. My 2 girls have now got 5 children between them but miss their Dad so much. I hope Peter Ganci’s children have managed to get on with their lives. Take care x

    – Lorna Todd
  3. Thank you for your selfless acts of courage each and every day, and for your bravery in helping keep your community safe. We will never forget.

    – Starla Taylor
  4. The courage and sacrifice will be remembered forever.
    The spirit is a vivid role model for the emergency workers in the world.
    I deeply respect Mr. Ganci.

    – Brian Kim
  5. You were a great uncle but a better man
    your spirit will live on as an amazing person.

    – Samantha Ganci
  6. 9/11/2018
    Today I had the honor of carrying your photo card during the Red Rocks 9/11 Stair Climb in Denver, CO. Thank you for your service and your sacrifice. Blessing to your family. Jen Routon

    – Jen Routon
  7. Pete was a remarkable Hero and he’d love being called a Badass!

    – Lenore Koehler
  8. Ron and I met Pete and Kathy in Tampa on May 2001. They had just bought a condo A lovely couple who we hoped to keep in touch. Devastated when we heard he died. Unfortunately Ron died suddenly 27th December 2001. Life sometimes sucks but Ron and Pete just got on so well. Happy memories of a happy times xx

    – Lorna Todd
  9. Ron and I met Pete and Kathy in Tampa on May 2001. They had just bought a condo A lovely couple who we hoped to keep in touch. Devastated when we heard he died. Unfortunately Ron died suddenly 27th December 2001. Life sometimes sucks but Ron and Pete just got on so well. Happy memories of a happy times xx

    – Lorna Todd
  10. I am doing the World Trade Center stair climb in crown point Indiana on 9/11 2021. I was matched with Peter as a way to honor him as I climb the same amount of stairs in the World Trade Center. I will honor his memory the best way I can. Prayers for Peter, his family and friends.

    – Erin m johnson
  11. Got goose bumps reading this. A true hero

    – Corey nesteroff
  12. 20 years later and we still remember your sacrifice for the children. Your bravery is an inspiration to us all. Your actions were courageous and selfless. Thank you for being a hero in every sense of the word, we will never forget. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

    – Maria Greco
  13. just wanted to say thank you for your heroic service.

    – Arthur Kelsch
  14. Im doing an essay on him.Rest easy brotha.

    – kimora
  15. I have memorial bracelet with
    Chief Peter Ganci Jr Chief of Dept name. I very would like to give to his family. Hope for assistance to connect with his wife or children. I have pictures of the bracelet

    – Debbie Smith
  16. September 11th, 2021 — September 10th, 2022, I participated at the 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb at Lambeau Field, Green Bay, Wisconsin. You climbed with me up the 110 stories with your badge on my helmet. You will be climbing with me every year on 9/11. You will never be forgotten.

    – Brady Alfred