Joseph Pfeifer

  • First Responder, Survivor, Family Member
  • Captioned

First FDNY chief to arrive at the World Trade Center on the morning of 9/11

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Education_Clips-JosephPfeifer

This story was filmed as part of our Anniversary in the Schools program, which introduces students to first-person accounts of the 9/11 attacks. Participate in this year’s free program by completing this registration form

Teaching Guides

Find tailored questions below for teaching this story.

As you listen to Chief Pfeifer’s story, think about the following questions:

  • Chief Pfeifer was one of the thousands of first responders who came to the World Trade Center on 9/11 to help. What is the job of a first responder? Who are first responders in your own community?
  • How did Chief Pfeifer and his brother, Kevin, help people on 9/11?
  • A total of 343 firefighters from the Fire Department of New York (FDNY) were killed on 9/11. What could you do in your school or with your family to honor those first responders and their brave actions on 9/11?

As you listen to Chief Pfeifer’s story, think about the following questions:

  • Chief Pfeifer was one of the thousands of first responders who came to the World Trade Center on 9/11 to help. What is the job of a first responder? What was their role on 9/11?
  • What did Chief Pfeifer say was his primary job on 9/11? What were some of the ordinary actions that first responders like Chief Pfeifer and his brother, Kevin, took that day to help others evacuate?
  • What lessons were learned after 9/11 by the FDNY according to Chief Pfeifer? How have these lessons helped the FDNY in the years since 9/11?

As you listen to Chief Pfeifer’s story, consider the following questions:

  • What did Chief Pfeifer say was his primary job on 9/11? What were some of the ordinary actions that first responders like Chief Pfeifer and his brother, Kevin, took that day to help others evacuate?
  • What moments in Chief Pfeifer’s story demonstrate courage or heroism?
  • How does Chief Pfeifer’s story help you better understand the unique challenges that first responders faced on and after 9/11?
  • How did 9/11 change the way the FDNY would respond to future emergencies? How does this change in response help demonstrate the enduring impacts of the 9/11 attacks?

Additional Resources

Chief Pfeifer and his brother, Kevin Pfeifer, were firefighters with the FDNY on 9/11. Consider paying tribute to first responders like them by creating a First Responder Badge. To view Chief Pfeifer’s helmet or learn more about the FDNY, including their response to the attacks, visit Inside the Collection. If you’re interested in more first responder stories, visit our Webinar Stories archive.