September 4, 2002 -- In the aftermath of the World Trade Center attack, firefighter Jim Carney found himself thrown into the role of arranging funerals and care for the families of the 343 firefighters killed.

Outgoing Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen pulled Carney from his Manhattan firehouse, Engine Co. 69, to work with firefighter families. He is now planning the mammoth Fire Department memorial event at Madison Square Garden in October.

Carney, a Queens resident, has also become an emissary for the FDNY, traveling to France, Italy and many American cities to thank people there for their support.

"He lost people, he went through a lot, but he never broke down," said Jennifer Carney, his daughter, who with her sister JoAnne nominated Jim Carney for the Post's Ambassador Liberty Medal.

"He makes people feel comfortable. He worked night and day for three months taking care of families," said Jennifer.

Carney's personal losses on Sept. 11 were horrific.

The 23-year FDNY veteran lost his close friend, legendary Capt. Pat Brown, and his cousin, Lt. Ray Murphy, as well as two former colleagues from his firehouse. He pushed forward, however, taking the FDNY's story to the nation and the world.

"We were able to tell people how the Fire Department and New York were doing," said Carney.

In Europe, Carney had emotional meetings with mayors and firefighters in Rome, Naples, Grenoble, Paris and other cities.

But 44-year-old Carney's chief work after Sept. 11 involved dealing with grieving families. In one heartbreaking case, the father of a firefighter who had been lost was angry that his son's body had been found, but he had not been notified. Carney soon sorted the situation out.

For the Fire Department memorial service on Oct. 12, 50,000 firefighters from around the country are expected to participate, as well as the families of the lost men.