Two streets in east El Paso honor a New York Firefighter killed on 9-11.

In far east El Paso, just off Rich Beem, you’ll find the intersection of Orio Palmer and Fallen Hero. I never really thought much about those street names to be honest. Being that we’re in a military town with many places and areas named in honor of military figures, (William Beaumont AMC, Chapin High School, etc), I assumed that was the connection here. Until, while watching a 9-11 memorial program, I heard the name Orio Palmer.

According to 911memorial.org, Battalion 7 Deputy Chief Palmer and his men, each wearing at least 50 pounds of gear, took an elevator to the 41st floor of the World Trade Centers south tower. They then climbed another 37 flights of stairs to the 78th floor, becoming one of the few groups of firefighters to make it that far. In one of his final radio messages, Deputy Chief Palmer said:

“Battalion Seven...Ladder 15, we've got two isolated pockets of fire. We should be able to knock it down with two lines. 78th floor numerous 10-45 Code Ones (victims).” 911memorial.org

Radio communications in the tower were spotty so none of the firefighters had any idea that the tower was beginning to collapse. They managed to get several people out of an elevator and on to safety before it did, killing Palmer, his entire crew and thousands more almost instantly. You can see Orio Palmer and some of his men in action via documentary footage used in “9/11”, and “In Memoriam: New York City, 9/11/01”.

I’m not sure who named these streets or what their connection to Deputy Chief Palmer was but it’s a nice tribute to one of many heroes lost that tragic day. Much respect to him and all those killed on 9-11. Here in the Sun City, thousands and thousands of miles away, their bravery is remembered.

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