A veteran New York City firefighter who served as a volunteer in the Islip Fire Department for 28 years suffered a fatal head injury after falling 20 feet inside his Brooklyn firehouse this week while preparing for a training exercise, authorities announced Friday.
William P. Moon II, 47, who lived in Islip with his wife Kristina and their two children, was preparing for a training exercise on Monday when he fell, New York City Fire Commissioner Laura Kavanagh said.
After it became clear Moon would not survive, his family “made the difficult decision to donate his organs to save the lives of others,” said New York Mayor Eric Adams, before adding, “Firefighter Moon is a hero twice over. He spent 21 years saving the lives of his fellow New Yorkers and he will continue to save lives in his passing.”
Moon was known as “Billy’ to friends and family.
Islip Fire Department’ Chief of Department Alden Schroeder noted that Moon was often referred to as a “firefighter’s firefighter.”
“(Moon) was the heart and soul of the Department, a dedicated and exceptional firefighter, and a mentor to many, whose impact will be missed,” the chief said.
The fatal fall occurred as Moon was preparing for a training exercise at the firehouse, Rescue Company 2 in Brooklyn, said Chief of Department John Hodgens, who joined Adams, Kavanagh and other officials at a City Hall news conference.
Moon was immediately treated for his injuries by his fellow firefighters, the FDNY reported, and was rushed by FDNY EMS to Kings County Hospital in critical condition.
“This is a heartbreaking loss for New York’s Bravest, and for our entire city,” Adams said.
Hodgens said Moon joined the FDNY in May 2002 and spent nearly 20 years at a ladder company in Queens before transferring last January to Rescue 2, an elite unit that doesn’t just fight fires but also rescues window washers dangling from scaffolding and construction workers trapped in collapsed buildings. Officials did not release further details about the fall.
“This type of work requires extensive training,” Hodgens said. “Billy was preparing for one of these training exercises when this tragic accident occurred.”
In Islip, Moon served as captain of Engine Company 1 in 2007-2008 and as Chief of Department in 2016 and 2017. Along with his firefighting duties, Billy was a long time and accomplished member of the department’s Wolves drill team, marching band and hockey team.
As a member of the Islip department’s Historical Committee, he had a large collection of photos, and would often showcase these photos in the firehouse as lasting examples of the pride in brotherhood, the fire department reported.
Tests determined Moon had no brain activity, officials said, but his body remained hooked up to a ventilator Friday to make organ donation possible.
In a statement read by Kavanagh, Moon’s wife, Kristina, said that her husband “always talked about how important it was to help others.”
“We are eternally grateful for the Christmas miracles that Billy will now be able to give others,” Kristina Moon said.
Below is a video recording of the press conference at New York’s City Hall today.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Top photo: William P. “Billy” Moon. (Source: Facebook/Islip Fire Department)