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EXCLUSIVE: Brooklyn school named after beloved FDNY firefighter hero killed on 9/11
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FDNY High School in East New York will be renamed after Vernon Richard, a firefighter who died on 9/11. Pictured, memorabilia inside the alumni museum at the Boys & Girls High School in Bedford-Stuyvesant . (Stefan Jeremiah/

An FDNY hero has a new home.

Capt. Vernon Richard, a beloved FDNY firefighter killed on 9/11, will finally get a school named after him in his native Brooklyn.

The FDNY High School on Pennsylvania Ave. in East New York will become the Capt. Vernon A. Richard HS for Fire & Life Safety on June 30, ecstatic friends and family said Wednesday.

“Everyone is so thrilled. It’s been a long journey, and it wasn’t easy to find a school to name after Capt. Richard, but we couldn’t be happier,” said Linda Burke-Galloway, a family friend.

Richard grew up in the Marcy Houses. His family began trying to find a city school that would take his name nearly 10 years ago.

Known as the “gentle giant,” Richard was a Vietnam veteran who started working for the FDNY in 1977 at Ladder 17 in the South Bronx.

In 1994, he was promoted to lieutenant. He was assigned to Tower Ladder 7 on E. 29th St. in Kips Bay, where he was working on 9/11. Richard was 53 when he died in the south tower along with five other members of his company. He was posthumously promoted to captain.

His wife, Dorothy, who is fighting cancer, got strong support from the Fire Department when she approached city officials about naming a school for her late husband.

Fire Commissioner Daniel Nigro wrote a letter to the city Education Department, which must approve name changes, to ask that Richard be given that honor.

But it took a Daily News article in February to break through the red tape.

“After it ran, a group of FDNY employees contacted us to suggest the fire high school,” said Burke-Galloway.

Nigro told The News on Wednesday it was a “fitting tribute” for the son of Brooklyn.

"[Capt. Richard] spent more than two decades bravely serving our city. His memory, and the selfless heroism he displayed on September 11th, will serve to inspire generations of future FDNY members," said Commissioner Nigro. 

The veteran firefighter was also a proud member of the Vulcan Society, the FDNY's association of black firefighters. 

“Captain Richard was a man of honor, integrity, and dignity,” said firefighter Regina Wilson, FDNY firefighter and current Vulcan president. “Anyone who walks through a door bearing his name can be proud of the fact that they are going to be part of his rich legacy.”

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