pATROLMAN joseph mcbreen

emergency service squad 10

august 11, 1937


In New Brighton, Staten Island, on August 11, 1937,
a row of houses was flooded by torrential rains
and the water-soaked buildings began collapsing from the heavy deluge.

PATROLMAN JOSEPH J. MCBREEN of Emergency Squad 10,
responded and quickly crafted a ladder bridge from a nearby window.
He then crawled across into the collapse to attempt the rescue of a four-year-old girl
who was trapped inside, but the heroic rescue attempt proved fatal.
Patrolman McBreen, with the little girl still clutched in his arms, was recovered hours later. 
Eighteen other residents also perished.