Chief Joyce was a Battalion Chief in Battalion 9, which is housed in Christopher’s fire house. We met Jack before he was assigned there. He stood with us and fought with us and even wrote a book about the 9/11 radios. So many wanted answers, and Jack was willing to put his job on the line to help us get them. His promotion was delayed because of this, but he stood up and did the right thing anyway.
Most firefighters in NYC knew about the radio situation, and most were frustrated. On 9/11, despite the fact that no politician was willing to admit that the radios did not work we all knew that they did not. Al and I wanted answers. We wanted to know how the City of New York bought radios that were never field tested and when they went into the field almost killed a firefighter. After that, these new radios were immediately rescinded and the old radios that did not work in 1993 were given out to the firefighters to use. On September 11, 2001 all the FDNY Firefighters were using these old radios. It is the reason that 343 Firefighters perished, when, only for contrast, 23 police officers and 37 Port Authority police officers died. There was communication among the Police Officers but not within the members of the FDNY.
Our quest brought us to Richard Salem, a lawyer in Tampa, FL. Richard was willing to help us, and for the past 10+ years that is exactly what he has done. He partnered with Jack and the two of them have tried to get us our day in court. Without these 2 courageous men we would not have had a chance to think about justice. They have spoken to Congress people and requested hearings. They’ve written letters and hired private agents to find information.
We are smarter and more knowledgeable than we were almost 12 years ago, but we are still waiting. So are Jack and Richard. We are so humbly honored that they have understood how important it is to get the truth. Who was responsible for ordering these new radios that did not work? Why was there no field testing? Why have we not received answers after all these years?
We are honoring these two men because they have kept the memory of Sept 11, 2001 alive with their actions and their determination that justice must be served. We stand with them. We help when we can but the truth is that without their vigilance we would be lost. Thank you Richard Salem and Jack Joyce. You are our heroes. Some day we will be successful. Until then we hope you stick with us in our quest. Justice must be served in order for healing to be accomplished. We are very grateful for all that you have done and continue to do for us,. The very best of humanity came forward after September 11, 2001. Both Jack and Richard are the very best of what caring, loving human beings can do to help those in need. We love you both!
Jack Joyce grew up in Williston Park on Long Island. His childhood goal in life was to become a Chief in the FDNY and the Chief of Midtown Manhattan. He attended St Aidan’s School in Williston Park and went on to St Mary’s High School in Manhasset, graduating in 1982. He has a BS from St John’s University in Queens. He entered The New York City Housing PD in July 1984 at the age of 20. As soon as he turned 21 he entered the FDNY, April 1985, and was assigned weeks later to E278 in Brooklyn. In 1986 he transferred to E216 and subsequently to L108, a year later. Promoted to Lt. in 1994, he was assigned to Battalion 50 in Jamaica Queens where he was promoted to Captain and again assigned back to Queens to The “Vipers Nest”—L155—in 2001. He remained there until 2004 and again was promoted to his current rank of Battalion Chief and currently assigned to Battalion 9 in “The Pride of Midtown” Times Square, a childhood goal realized 25 years later.
In October of 2001, he was a founding member of “The Family Assistance Center” at Pier 94 on the West Side of Manhattan. He believes “to assist the families of 9/11 was one of his greatest accomplishments and an honor to his friends and their families who had lost their lives.” Over the past 11 years he has volunteered and coordinated the 9/11 Family Camp at Camp “KIEVE” in Nobleboro, Maine, where he and other FDNY members assisted FDNY families, Cantor Fitzgerald, AON, US Military and civilian families get their lives back that were devastated by the attacks on the Pentagon and the Trade Center.
He currently resides in Fort Salonga, New York with his beautiful wife Karen, proud father to a Daughter, Erin and Son, Jack.
In 2002, families of FDNY firefighters who perished in the World Trade Center Towers sought the assistance of an attorney to unravel questions surrounding the failure of their radios on September 11, 2001. They engaged Richard Salem, who founded the Salem Law Group, with offices in Tampa and Washington, following his graduation, with distinction, from Duke Law School in 1972.
Richard has been quoted in Self Magazine as one of Seven Highly Effective People and was named “Best of a Generation” by Esquire Magazine in 1984. He received the Rick Douglas Advocacy Award for outstanding work in the field of disability rights in 2001.
In addition to his active law practice, Richard founded several for-profit and notfor- profit organizations and is committed to community service. He has served on the advisory boards of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, the National Institutes of Health, Rockefeller University’s Fisher Alzheimer’s Research Center, and received a lifetime appointment to Duke University’s Law School Board of Visitors.
In 2003 Richard, on behalf of several firefighter families, initiated civil proceedings seeking to hold accountable those responsible for the failure of firefighter radios in the towers on 9/11. This battle has proceeded all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court, and continues on to this day. Whether in the courtroom, the halls of Congress, or in the public media, fueled by his passion for justice, Richard’s determination to find the truth has been ceaseless. In his words, “It is both an honor and a privilege to represent such dedicated and committed families whose interest reaches beyond. They no longer demand justice for themselves, but for current and future firefighters who deserve the best protection available.”