Proud Father of A First Responder
In a letter written to the Alumni Association, Mr. Leon R. Meyer tells the story of his son’s, Robert Meyer, MD ’91, involvement in the 9/11 rescue efforts.
I don’t remember exactly, but it was either after the first plane struck, or right after the second plane hit, that I called Rob, hoping that he was in the E.R at Monte, but 9/11/2001 was an “off day” for him; he was at home. I knew what he was going to do and I tried to dissuade him. It was the only time that he ever told me an untruth: he assured me that he wasn’t going anywhere.
I learned the truth later that night: he immediately got his colleague, paramedic Rich Constantino, (great guy; I met him a couple of times; he’s now a Westchester County firefighter); they drove south to the World Trade Center. NYPD stopped them around West 20th street where Rob left (abandoned) his car; they sprinted to WTC.
I don’t know to whom (if to anyone), they reported, but as Rob tells it, they got to WTC around noon and spent the next 6 hours treating firefighters, mainly for smoke inhalation, washing their eyes and other injuries, until about 6 PM.
Rob has never talked much about that day. He brushes it off as “no big deal”. I knew he was going to WTC because just a few years earlier, as an intern at ST. Vincent’s Hospital, he ran down the subway station when he heard there was an accident; he was inexperienced, but wanted to “help”.
Mr. Meyer goes on to say, “Firefighters and cops were the heroes of 9/11, but some docs were also first responders”.
In addition to his rescue efforts during 9/11, Dr. Robert Meyer spent two weeks in Haiti, in January 2018 with an organization that needed assistance from doctors. On that trip, he brought his then 19-year-old daughter, Barabara, a pre-med junior in the B.S./M.D program at Sienna College/Albany Medical College, to volunteer as well.
Below are photos of Dr. Robert Meyer (right) and Rich Constantino at Ground Zero on September 11th, 2001: