Everyday ChampionsWe work to change the lives of those who need it most.

Learn MoreAbout our Foundation

“Do the right thing, even when no one is looking,” words you’d often hear from Ray Pfeifer. A member of the FDNY since 1987, Ray was golfing with other FDNY firefighters the morning of September 11, 2001. When he learned of the attacks, Ray went to his firehouse at Engine 40/Ladder 35, grabbed his gear, and spent the next eight months searching and digging at Ground Zero. All 11 members of his Manhattan firehouse who responded to the call were killed. In 2009, Ray was diagnosed with Stage 4 kidney cancer resulting from his work at the World Trade Center site. With federal benefits on the verge of expiring, Ray, in his wheelchair, led a small contingent to Washington, DC in 2015 to challenge lawmakers. Ray fought for health care benefits from the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act to be extended for September 11th first responders, and succeeded. Ray passed away on May 28, 2017. Now The Ray Pfeifer Foundation, started by other FDNY first responders, is helping 9/11 first responders with medical needs not covered by insurance.

Meet our Team Executive Board

Craig Paupst | President
FDNY 2006 – Present
Ladder 35

Robert Ostrofsky | Secretary
FDNY 1998 – Present
Ladder 35 (11 years)

Christopher Howard | Vice President
FDNY 2005 – Present
Ladder 157

Joseph Tisbe | Treasurer
FDNY 1999 – Present
Engine 40


Board of Directors

Brian McGuire
FDNY 1999 – 2013
Squad 18

Retired from 9/11 related illnesses
Rob Serra
FDNY 2001 – 2012
Squad 18

Retired from 9/11 related illnesses
Lori M. Berlin
Tevelady MEDIA


Advisory Board

Wayne S. Cook, Jr.
Law Firm of Windels Marx Lane & Mittendorf
John A. Flynn
Manhattan South Trustee NYCPBA
Mary Jane Greco
Dominique I. Joseph
Family Liaison
Anna Nolan, MD, MS
Associate Professor of Medicine and Environmental Medicine 
NYU School of Medicine
Hisham Tawfiq
FDNY (Retired)
Actor (NBC’s Blacklist)
No members on our board receive any compensation.
We are all volunteers trying to make a difference in the lives of first responders.

I fought alongside Ray during our many trips to Washington, D.C. I joined The Ray Pfeifer Foundation to fulfill my promise to Ray that as long as I’m here I will help continue his legacy of helping 9/11 first responders.Rob Serra