Associated Press

April 14, 2002 -- INDIANAPOLIS -

New York's most decorated firefighter was to be posthumously honored last night at a dinner concluding the largest gathering of firefighters since Sept. 11.

Deputy Chief Ray Downey, the Fire Department of New York's chief of special operations command, was killed during the rescue effort at the twin towers.

The first Courage and Valor Award includes a gold medal and $50,000. Downey's daughter, Marie Tortorici, said the 40-year veteran firefighter would have been reluctant to accept the honors "because he was very humble." Approximately 25,000 firefighters attended this week's Fire Department Instructors Conference.