Service dog for returning veterans named in honor of FDNY Fire Marshal Ronald Bucca

FDNY Fire Marshal Ronald Bucca dedicated his life to public service, as an FDNY member for 23 years and in the United States Army for 29 years. On September 11, 2001 Fire Marshal Bucca made the supreme sacrifice while rescuing victims trapped inside the World Trade Center. He is the only FDNY Fire Marshal in the history of the department to die in the line of duty.

Fire Marshall Bucca on duty during his career (left) and Warrior Canine Connection service dog Bucca.

Fire Marshall Bucca on duty during his career (left) and Warrior Canine Connection service dog Bucca.

In honor of his unwavering service, Warrior Canine Connection (WCC) has named one of their newest service dogs ‘Bucca’, after having been nominated by WCC volunteer Alyssa Malaspina.  According to WCC’s Executive Director, Rick Yount, naming Bucca after “a veteran firefighter who lost his life as a result of 9/11 was a great thing to do”. Mr. Yount added that WCC is “honored and humbled to memorialize the sacrifice” Ron made on 9/11 as he “was a service member that warranted continuing to be recognized.”

WCC helps soldiers returning from war readjust to life back home by pairing them with golden and lab retrievers that have been purposefully bred and raised to become service dogs.  Through this unique form of therapy, veterans are able to work through trauma and receive important mental health intervention by helping to train these service dogs while they recuperate. The training process helps soldiers focus on the needs of another veteran instead of focusing on their own thoughts. This process in turn reinforces positive emotions and interactions, something many veterans struggle with once they return home from a war zone. Bucca is currently at Walter Reed, one of the nation’s leading Army hospitals helping warriors heal.

FM Ron Bucca

FM Ron Bucca

Throughout his career with the FDNY, Fire Marshal Bucca served with Engine Company 95, Ladder Company 2, the Fitness Unit of the FDNY Training Academy, Rescue Company 1, and the Terrorist Task Force.  He was promoted to Fire Marshal in 1992. He was affectionately known in Rescue 1 as the ‘Flying Fireman’ for his attempt to rescue a fellow firefighter, severely injuring himself in the process as he fell five stories. Remarkably, Fire Marshal Bucca recovered from his extensive injuries and returned to the full duty within just one year.

“Through the naming of service dog Bucca, Ron continues to serve this great nation by helping our wounded veterans and he remains an inspiration to others”, said FDNY Chief Fire Marshal Robert Byrnes.


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