9/11 Dad FD Chief Jim Riches- featured in IAFF video-Responds to Rudy Giuliani
For immediate distribution: July 18, 2007
From: Deputy Chief Jim Riches FDNY 917-692-1199
Father of fallen fire fighter Jimmy Riches Jr., FDNY 9/11:
-a true American hero
The Giuliani campaign’s website has issued a response to the IAFF video. In my
opinion, the press should hold the Giuliani campaign accountable for its slipshod spin of
the facts in the video. In the following response below, I will detail how Giuliani has tried to
manipulate these facts. Giuliani is running his campaign on 9/11 as a hero, yet he ran like
a coward on 9/11 even before the first tower fell.
The true facts of Rudy Giuliani and his response to the IAFF video:
- In his press release he calls NYC "The Cadillac of Preparedness." How bad was
the rest of the country? We had firefighters with radios that didn't work properly in
1993 and in 2001. He placed the city’s Emergency Command Center next to a
terrorist target, the World Trade Center. On 9/11, his 7 years of inaction resulted in a
non-unified command structure with separate command posts for FD (West St) and
the Police Department (Church St). There was no NYPD representative at the FDNY
command post to relay urgent messages (of potential collapse) - their police
Commissioner, Bernie Kerik, was running north away from the WTC with Giuliani.
- Rudy states that he created Office of Emergency Management: Yet, he placed
an incompetent person in charge on 9/11: Richard Shierer, a former FDNY
dispatcher and longtime political crony. Shierer lacked the qualifications to run OEM
and oversee emergency operations. Mr. Jerry Hauer, Shierer’s predecessor, had the
qualities needed. Hauer had a strong personality and a take charge attitude at
emergency scenes. He was highly regarded by both the NYPD and the FDNY, but
got little assistance from Giuliani to make the Fire and Police Departments cooperate
fully with each other. There were many skirmishes at emergency scenes (arrests of
FDNY personnel, fights, angry words and feelings). Hauer pleaded with Giuliani to
help him bridge the gap in the battle of the badges. Rudy did not assist and on 9/11
we had terrible losses due to the communication disconnect between the NYPD and
- Months after 9/11, Fire Commissioner Tom Von Essen and other FDNY officials
tried to blame the communications breakdown on malfunctioning repeaters.
The 9/11 Commission confirmed that the repeaters worked that day. Giuliani tried
another version of the argument later saying FDNY chiefs in the lobby decided
repeaters weren't operable and couldn't be used. Every investigation that has
examined 9/11 failings (the 9/11 Commission, the National Institute of Standards and
Technology (NIST) WTC Investigation, and the McKinsey Report) did not agree with
Giuliani's statements and said the repeaters were indeed working on 9/11. NIST said
the hi-rise repeater was working properly, contradicting claims by the Giuliani
- Giuliani says Jerry Hauer insisted on placing the Emergency Command Center
at 7 WTC. That is a blatant lie, according to Jerry Hauer (who has documentation to
prove it.) It was Giuliani's personal insistence that it be located at 7 WTC - Jerry
Hauer suggested Brooklyn. Rudy wanted it within walking distance of City Hall,
complete with a cigar room for Rudy!
- Giuliani’s people have stated that NYC had terrorism exercises during his
administration. While regular drills were held by Commissioner Hauer, the number
of emergency drills plummeted under Sheirer's watch. Still, the FDNY and NYPD had
trouble cooperating at these drills. Who was in charge? No interagency
communications, including incompatible radios, is Rudy’s legacy of 9/11. Today,
radios are now interoperable between the FDNY and NYPD under the Bloomberg
- Giuliani was forced to secure bunker gear after 3 firefighters were killed as a
result of fighting a fire on Watts Street – he did not do it out of the goodness of his
heart. Ironically, a pilot program was put in place before the Watts St, fire to see
which bunker gear was best for the FDNY, unlike the defective radios Giuliani and his
FDNY Commissioner Tom Von Essen bought in 2001. Although Giuliani claims to
have purchased “PASS” alarms for firefighters, it was the Dinkins Administration that
first purchased the device. Radios, bunker gear, and PASS alarms are basic
equipment that all firefighters in America need and are not innovative – Giuliani’s
claims of buying such firefighting equipment is the equivalent of telling police officers
that the bullets he purchased for their guns are truly innovative! The mayor's job is to
protect the citizens of NY and the firefighters and other city workers. It is his
obligation to get us the tools we need to do the job safely and correctly. He was only
doing his job and nothing more. He wants to be praised for this??
- Tom Von Essen (a firefighter who never passed a promotional exam) was
Giuliani’s top selection for Fire Commissioner who decimated the “staff chief”
positions from 23 to 13, losing some of the most knowledgeable and most
experienced men on the job. Von Essen refused to listen to input from his Chiefs
because “he knew better.” He replaced the most brilliant man in the Department -
Frank Cruthers - as Chief of Department because he didn't like him (a result of Von
Essen's previous history as Union President).
- Giuliani was so “loving and caring” at firefighter funerals – baloney! These
were photo ops for him. He insisted human remains be treated carefully and
respectfully, but only if the remains were found before Nov .1, 2001. After Nov. 1,
remains were more likely to recovered at the Staten Island Fresh Kills dump because
the paltry 25 firefighters were not even close to the amount of personnel needed to
search for remains at Ground Zero. I was at the site almost every day from 9/11 until
May 30 2002. We were cut to 120 firefighters a day in November but there were 50 to
a hundred firefighters who came on their own time to assist in the recovery effort
every day and night (retired and active firefighters). 25 fireman and limited number of
NYPD and PAPD personnel were not enough to do a proper search of the debris.
Rudy wanted the firefighters out of there because we slowed up the operation. Rudy
essentially said: let’s scoop and dump quickly and open up lower Manhattan and
make money. There are still human remains of our heroes at Ground Zero & Fresh
Kills garbage dump. This is a disgrace.
- Was Giuliani was concerned about safety of firefighters? If so, why did Giuliani
lie about the air quality at Ground Zero in late Sept 2001 when he was told by the
Department of Environmental Protection that 27 of 38 tests of air quality showed high
levels of asbestos? (NY Times). Firefighters were not given face-fitted respirators
until November, 2001. The Department of Design and Construction (DDC) was
Rudy's choice to run the operation (the first time they ever handled a disaster site)
and did not enforce the respirator requirement as was done by the Federal
Government at the Pentagon. This is another Giuliani mistake which will lead to his
legacy of dying and sick first responders - 70% now have various ailments related to
- Giuliani worried that the rubble pile would collapse on Nov 1,2001 after gold
was removed the day before. Why wasn't Rudy worried about the collapse potential
in September and October. Try another excuse, Rudy!
- I was at the Sheraton NY hotel when Rudy said he was closing the site. Medical
Examiner Charles Hirsh told us all at a family meeting that the bodies had been
pulverized ( "vaporized" was another term used) and there were no more remains.
The family members and FDNY personnel called him a liar that night since we had
recovered bodies one day prior to this meeting. They lied to the families as was
evident in the following months during which hundreds of bodies were recovered.
- Giuliani people have disingenuously linked the victims’ families with
conspiracy theorists. No family member or firefighter organization ever mentioned
or condoned any conspiracy theory or government implication in the attacks. These
are not in the video and to attach us to the conspiracy theorists is a total distortion.
Rudy's people will stoop to anything. It is totally out of line, but Rudy's people don't
mind telling blatant lies.
All the people in the media trashing the IAFF video are in the Giuliani campaign. Howard
Safir, a former NYPD Commissioner and FDNY Commissioner, took illegal trips to the Oscars
while the city was in turmoil. Safir claims all firefighters are “Rudy's friends.” Well, Commissioner
Safir, NYC firefighters despise Rudy. I am an active Deputy Chief in the FDNY and I know it for a
Lee Ielpi, a former firefighter, is a traitor to the union and every one of the fallen 343
heroes who were sent into the Towers without functioning radios. After the attacks, Lee
Ielpi went to Washington to hear the King Abdullah of Jordan (where they danced on the streets
on 9/11 and blasted Israel for being the problem in the Middle East) and went to dinner with him.
That is a disgrace. Mr. Ielpi then says the union is “Democratic.” The UFA backed Mr. Bush in
2004 as well as Mr. Pataki. The video is not Democratic or Republican - it only tells the TRUE
story of one candidate, Rudy Giuliani. He is not presidential material however you spin it.
My wife tells me all the time: "Show me your company and I'll tell you what you are."
Let’s look at Rudy's company and friends. Judith Nathan, married two times - no, three times.
Ex-Monsignor Placa, Giuliani Partners employee/best friend/accused child molester, covered up
and protected child molesting priests in Rockville Center. Bernie Kerik -a lying and cheating thief
with mob ties - Giuliani knew his troubled past before he appointed him NYPD Commissioner
(and who shacked up with his girlfriend - while still married - at a Ground Zero apartment put
aside for first responders at WTC). Giuliani had the gall to recommend him for head of our federal
Department of Homeland Security. What arrogance!!!
Rudy was prancing his girlfriend around the neighborhood while his wife and children
were in Gracie Mansion nearby. Rudy married his second cousin for 14 years. Let’s not forget
Christine Lategano, named in his messy divorce from Donna Hanover.
Rudy, you have no morals or ethics or integrity. Your leadership stunk before, during and
after 9/11 and you refuse to take accountability. Watch out - if Rudy doesn't agree with you, you
are his enemy. Ask former Manhattan. Borough President Virginia Fields and Comptroller Carl
McCall whom he refused to speak to. Rudy released sealed records of the slain Haitian-
American Patrick Dorismond. They are called sealed for a reason. God forbid Rudy gets the
Patriot Act! Museum funding will be cut if he doesn't like the exhibit (DID THAT). He will do
whatever he wants.
Hopefully, the truth will prevail and people will educate themselves about the
candidates. Read the 9/11 Commission, National Institute and Technology's NIST report, and
McKinsey reports concerning 9/11. You will see the shortcomings and errors of the Giuliani
administration. His capacity to put people in his inner circle who lack the ability and qualifications
to perform their tasks is a severe liability. Can we expect Judy sitting in on cabinet meetings? or
Bernard Kerik being brought back from the netherworld to be appointed as Director of Homeland
The IAFF video was made by the union after many requests by the 9/11 families who
were seeking to tell the truth about Rudy Giuliani & 9/11. We wanted to get our message out
that Rudy should not be running on his horrible 9/11 record. He talks for BLOOD MONEY about
leadership despite the fact that he abandoned ship and ran north like a coward. He exemplified
an egregious lack of true leadership before, during, and after 9/11. The video is the proof that will
haunt Giuliani. His legacy will be numerous sick and dying first responders who did not get proper
face-fitted respirators until November, 2001. I don't know how he can look at himself in the mirror.
The spirits of 9/11 will haunt him in the end. I know that terrorists initiated the actions that killed
my son, but Rudy Giuliani gave him a radio that didn't work on 9/11 .Terrorists did not provide him
with faulty equipment; terrorists did not tell us that the air quality was fine when it was gravely
contaminated. America needs to know the real truth about Rudy Giuliani and not what he tells us:
lies, distorted truth, and more lies. These are not qualifications for the next president of our
beloved country. Doesn't America deserve better than Rudy Giuliani?
Deputy Chief Jim Riches FDNY 917-692-1199
Father of fallen firefighter Jimmy Riches FDNY 9/11-a true American hero