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Project Children Picnic + 5K Fundraiser

Sun October 20, 2024 Orangeburg, NY 10962 US Directions

Patrick Connolly


Title / Position:          Battalion Chief, FDNY 
Town / State:             Manhasset, NY 

Tell us about your professional life:
I’ve been a NYC Fireman since July 2001.   I started my first day of my career alongside my brother assisting in the rescue efforts at the WTC on The morning of 9/11/01. I have worked the past 23 years rising through the ranks as a Firefighter, Lieutenant, Captain, and my present rank Battalion Chief.  A sense of service and willingness to help our fellow man were two lessons learned daily in our house growing up.  I always remark, starting on that fateful first day, how great it is to make a tangible difference in the lives of complete strangers.   The satisfaction and fulfillment is incredible.  My hobbies include traveling all over the globe, photography, music, cooking and most of all skiing with my wife and children.

My position in the FDNY and a Battalion Chief is a challenging role that tests my preparedness daily.   The current state of the world demands that our organizations leaders maintain razor sharp focus on every hazard imaginable.   A Battalion Chief may be called to a overturned oil tanker at 9am, a emergency gas leak compromising the safety of a 20 story occupied building at 10:30, a derailment in a train in an under river tunnel below the  East River that connects Brooklyn with Lower Manhattan at 2:30 and and active shooter at 4:45 in a transit facility.    That’s just the day tour.  After this is all over, we all hope to go to a fire. 

As a BC, my main role is the Incident Commander at fires and emergencies. This allows me to interact with my peers and also to collaborate with multiple agencies in NYC, and beyond.   My objective is to act as a conductor in the orchestra - listening to reports coming from within the Fire building from trusted Captains, Lieutenants and Firefighters.  Based on these inputs I decide if we are advancing, holding or retreating our positions.   We are a very aggressive and proud department and our members love nothing more to help complete strangers in their worst hour of need.  The FDNY is not a workforce that needs to be motivated.    They are a self driven, highly dedicated professional group of the finest men and women one could ever hope to stand beside.  

What is your connection to Project Children?

My connection to Project Children is intertwined with Dennis and his brother Tom as members of the NYPD and FDNY respectively.   My parents knew of the wonderful work being conducted in the name of peace  with Dennis at the helm.  In late 1997, I was asked to take part in a local Bachelor competition with the idea of raising some money to support a worthy cause.   My cause was Project Children.  I was fortunate to win the local competition and was awarded an all expense paid vacation to compete internationally in Mullingar, County West Meath.  I competed against young men from Ireland, Scotland, England, The Netherlands and France.   In the end, I won a few thousand pounds and was happy to hand it over to Dennis and the great people of Project Children to continue their fine work. 

Do you have a favorite PC memory?
My favorite Project Children Moment involved learning about the history of the organization and the commitment and dedication of the host families here in America.  The thousands of lives that have been positively altered is proof that through education, collaboration and respect for our differences, we can all coexist in peace and harmony the world over.   Never more has this message of collaboration and mutual respect needed more than now.  I suggest we do a Project Children for many other countries and cultures the world over.  I am humbled to have been a small part of Project Children’s past and am equally honored to see it find its fitting permanent home in my dad’s native County Monaghan.  
Tell us what it means to be a PC ambassador for the PC Picnic and 5k and the Move to the Monaghan Peace Campus.
As an ambassador to P.C., it means that I will give my full commitment to marketing and endorsing the P.C. picnic and 5k this fall and the subsequent Move to Monaghan next year.   I will endeavor to raise awareness through my personal and professional network and spread the word of the incredible impact this organization has had on world peace.  

Join Patrick's Team

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