I am proud to remember Joseph Marchbanks Jr. who was a Battalion Chief in Harlem, but he preferred to be called a firefighter. A 22-year veteran, Chief Marchbanks garnered four promotions by the time he died at age 47, but “he wasn’t one to brag,” said his wife, Teresa.
Still, Chief Marchbanks had a lot to brag about.
A Bronx native, he qualified for the police force and the fire department in the same week, he chose the latter, never looked back.
“He loved his job,” said his friend (and stickball teammate) Frank McDonagh.
He lived in Nanuet, N.Y., with his wife, Teresa, and his children, Lauren, 14, and Ryan, 8. “He had an extremely good sense of humor. He held the family together, he was the hub,” said his sister, Kathleen Allison. She said he coached his daughter’s softball team and was a regular at all the soccer and baseball games his son played in. Marchbanks’ survivors include a twin brother in Boston. — Bill Kaufman (Newsday)
At the firehouse, he organized study groups to help others pass tests for promotions. “He taught without you realizing you were learning,” said his friend and colleague, Lieutenant Kevin Guy.
Ray Joseph Marchbanks JR. was a firefighter originally assigned to Engine Company 73 and later transferred “across the floor” into Ladder 42. His contagious smile was always present. Joe’s willingness to help; whether at a fire, a practical joke, or to benefit a brother who needed him was also a constant that could be depended on. His love of, “The Job”, was evident in his good natured professionalism wherever he was. He made his mark on the job everywhere he went as he was promoted to Lieutenant, then to Captain and finally to Battalion Chief where he was assigned to Battalion 12. Joe’s memory will live on in the hearts and minds of all the members of The House on Prospect Avenue in the Bronx.
A Memorial Service
was held on
October 26, 2001
It is very likely I worked with Chief Marchbanks when I worked in Harlem as a Paramedic. I worked more than a few fires, so I am sure he was there. FDNY are a great bunch of heroes and Chief Marchbanks made them proud.
Let us take a moment on 9/11 to remember him and the others that lost their lives on that fateful day.