A Career Firefighter, Caring and Helpful

October 7, 2001

Paul Tegtmeier was driving to Manhattan's Engine Co. 26 firehouse when the first plane slammed into Tower One.

His wife, Cathy, a flight nurse with the Westchester Medical Center, was out when he called. When she hadn't heard from her husband by late evening on Sept. 11, she said, she had a gut feeling he was missing. He sounded shaken up on his voicemail message after the first moments of the attack.

Tegtmeier, 41, spent the past 18 months with Engine Co. 4 in Lower Manhattan but was permanently assigned to Ladder 46 in the Bronx. He spent most of his 24-year firefighting career as a volunteer with the Roosevelt Fire Department in Hyde Park, where he was born and raised. He graduated from Roosevelt High School there.

The day before the attack, the couple had been house hunting in Manhattan. His wife said that Tegtmeier was an outgoing, caring individual, willing to help anyone at anytime. He also is survived by a son, Aric, 6; daughter, Andrea, 3; his mother, Irene, and three siblings, Jack, Susan and Joanne.

--Collin Nash (Newsday)