1. Kennedy, Maureen Shawn MA, RN


In memoriam.


Article Content

We scoured newspapers and the Web and made inquiries to several nursing associations in an attempt to complete the list of nurses who were killed in the September 11 terrorist attacks. By our count, there were 11. FIGURE 1

Figure 1 - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure 1. No caption available.

We highlight here the story of one of them, Kathy Mazza. We honor the contributions and the lives of all those listed here.



Nursing was very much a part of everything Kathy Mazza did. "She was always a nurse at heart," says her husband, Chris Delosh.


A former nurse in cardiothoracic surgery at St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, New York, Mazza left nursing in 1987 to join the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department (PAPD), a place she felt would allow her to use her skills and to advance professionally, and that would provide secure retirement benefits. "Kathy always had a plan and followed it," says her best friend Linda Bastian. Part of her plan was to return to nursing.


Once in the PAPD, Mazza trained officers as emergency first responders and later led the initiative to have portable defibrillators at all Port Authority facilities. She became the commander of the PAPD police academy, the first woman to do so. To those who knew her, none of this came as a surprise.


Nor did it surprise them that, along with other police officers and firefighters, she raced to the World Trade Center to participate in the rescue effort, or that, in a stairwell of the North Tower she took a moment to comfort a fellow officer overcome by the situation. It also didn't surprise them to hear that she used her service revolver to shoot out windows in the lobby to create escape routes for people still trapped. FIGURES 2 and 3

Figure 2 - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure 2. Mazza, pictured here on the occasion of her promotion to the rank of captain in 2000, was on her way to becoming the first woman to head a New York police academy.
Figure 3 - Click to enlarge in new windowFigure 3. As part of a team that provided heart surgery to disadvantaged children, Mazza welcomed Nancy Reagan to St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, NY, in 1983.

Five months later, Mazza's body was found with those of several of her colleagues (including Stephen Huczko, another nurse-officer) next to that of a woman still strapped into a rescue chair. They were found in what had been the lobby, where they were close to escaping, but they were apparently unwilling to abandon someone who needed their help. (The PAPD lost 37 officers that day.)


"It was so like her," Bastian says. "She never lost sight of what needed to be done and then she'd do it; she was at her best under pressure."


Nurses Killed on September 11

Touri Bolourchi, 69, retired nurse, passenger aboard United Airlines Flight 175


Lydia Bravo, 50, occupational health nurse at Marsh & McLennan Companies, Inc.


Ronald Bucca, 47, fire marshal, New York City Fire Department


Greg Buck, 37, firefighter, New York City Fire Department, Engine Company 201


Christine Egan, 55, community health nurse visiting from Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada


Carol Flyzik, 40, medical software marketing manager, passenger aboard American Airlines Flight 11


Debra Lynn Fischer Gibbon, 43, senior vice president at Aon Corporation


Geoffrey Guja, 47, lieutenant, New York City Fire Department, Battalion 43


Stephen Huczko, 44, police officer, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department


Kathy Mazza, 46, captain, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey Police Department, and commanding officer, Port Authority Police Training Academy


Michael Mullan, 34, firefighter, New York City Fire Department, Ladder Company 12


-Maureen Shawn Kennedy, MA, RN


news director