had the privilege of meeting Joe in September
of 2011 when he graciously agreed to appear in
our pre-game ceremonies as we paid tribute to
those who perished on 9/11. It was also a ceremony
honoring those who have, and continue to serve
our country in the military. Joe assisted us with
several media interviews and was absolutely outstanding
with the requests we put forth. His experience
from that dreadful time, combined with his passion,
articulation, and optimism made for a tremendous
presentation to members of the media. Joe also
captivated a large group with a special presentation
regarding his 9/11 experiences for one of our
season-ticket holders during his visit to Southern
California. I truly hope we have an opportunity
to work with Joe again in the future. It would
be both our pleasure and privilege."
~Tim Mead, California Angels
San Diego County Fair invited Joe Torrillo to
be a speaker on the Grandstand Stage for our annual
4th of July ceremonies. 4th of July at the San
Diego County Fair is a huge tradition for the
community of San Diego County with over 85,000
people attending the festivities. From start to
finish, you cannot find a speaker who is more
professional, charismatic, and committed than
Joe Torrillo. We were delighted to host him at
our event. His speech about patriotism in the
United States was extremely moving and a wonderful
way to kick off the evening for the thousands
who witnessed his words on July 4, 2012. We are
hopeful that Joe will be available for our event
again in 2013. I would highly recommend his services
to any organization looking for an authentic,
dynamic speaker whose words will ring true to
anyone of any demographic."
~Katie Phillip, San Diego
our search for a speaker who was a survivor of
the attack in New York on September 11, 2011,
we found Joe would reveal a miraculous story of
survival to the people of Annecy, France at a
conference for Pulmonary diseases. "Freelung,"
the not-for-profit French Organization that plans
on offering free lung treatment for the victims
of the attack on the World Trade Center, greatly
benefited from his amazing speaking skills. Our
biggest problem is handling and sorting all of
the requests to have him return to speak again."
~Dr. Karim Berkani, Pulmonologist
in Annecy, France
speaker, Joe Torrillo, brought such a presence
to the Nixon Library on September 11, 2011, when
he spoke about the tragic events on 9/11. The
audience was spellbound and deeply touched by
his personal account of what occurred and humbled
by what one man can endure and still survive.
It was an honor and an inspiration to hear and
meet Joe and something I will never forget."
~Mayor Nancy Rikel, Yorba
Linda City Council
is a very fragile gift. Experiences that were
once understood and deeply felt fade in the torrent
of so many other remembrances. Joe Torrillo has
devoted much of his academic and emotional life
to remembering. For him, he was an NYC Firefighter
who was part of a disappearing survivor of 9/11.
His values today focus on keeping the terrible
experiences alive for his fellow citizen. Joe
presents in a clear, meaningful, and informative
way that captures the audience."
~Professor Stuart Verstanding
at Sy Syms School of Business, Yeshiva University
Torrillo was so inspiring. Students gave him a
standing ovation, after they sat respectfully
for forty minutes listening to his courageous
story of heroism. I was most impressed that he
wove throughout his story the very important message
of how students can be heroes every day by spreading
kindness to other people."
~Burt Smith, Principal at
Shepton High School in Plano, TX
had the good fortune of having Lt. Joe Torrillo
address my Community Prayer Breakfast in Brigantine,
New Jersey in October 2016. I can personally attest
to Lt. Torrillo's ability to captivate his audience
with his experience as a New York City firefighter
on 9-11. Somehow he was even able to sprinkle
just the right amount of humor into what we all
know to be a difficult and somber topic. I found
Lt. Torrillo to be very accommodating and willing
to go out of his way to help make my event successful.
~Andy Solari, Brigantine,
NJ Community Prayer Breakfast
the past five years, the Del Mar Fairgrounds and
San Diego County Fair have had the honor of working
with the World Memorial organization and welcoming
Mr. Joe Torrillo to join in our 4th of July celebrations.
Mr. Torrillo has been an absolute delight to work
with and has become a 4th of July highlight at
the Fair, drawing a standing ovation after every
speech. Joe is simply the best in the business
and we look forward to working with Mr. Torrillo
for many years to come!”
~Nicola Bysouth Martinez,
Exhibit Supervisor at Del Mar Fairgrounds
World Trade Center Collapse
Torrillo was a 25 year Lieutenant with the NYC Fire
Dept. who is now retired on disability. He spent the
first 15 years of his career in Engine Company # 10,
across the street from the South Tower of the World
Trade Center. While recuperating from a severe injury
on New Years Eve of 1996 going in to 1997, Joe was
assigned to convalesce in the office of fire safety
months into this "light-duty" position,
Joe was ultimately named the Director of this public-based
program. In his new position, Joe would co-design
a children's state-of-the-art fire safety learning
center, which opened in October, 2000.
new venue, "The Fire Zone ", in the heart
of Manhattan, was nominated and won the coveted "THEA"
award at the Emmy's in 2002. Shortly thereafter, in
January of 2001, Joe worked on a project with Fisher-Price
Toys to help design a new children's "action
figure", which was part of their line of "Rescue
Heroes". This new action figure was named "Billy
Blazes" and was a likeness of a NYC Firefighter,
who was an addition to their other "Rescue Heroes
conjunction with the Executives of the Fisher-Price
Corp., Joe chose the "Fire Zone" as the
location for the press conference to introduce "Billy
Blazes", and then keeping with a safety theme,
ironically chose the date of September 11, 2001, because
9/11 is the Emergency phone number in New York City.
the way to the press conference, that was set for
9 a. m., Joe was about an eighth of a mile away from
the World Trade Center, when American Airlines Flight
#11 struck the South Tower at 8:46 a.m. Fearing for
his Firefighter brothers in Engine Co. 10 and Ladder
Co. 10 across the street from the Towers, Joe diverted
to the scene to render assistance.
minutes after donning borrowed bunker gear, at 9:03
a.m., the second jet, flew over Joe's head and slammed
in to the South Tower. With a background in Structural
Engineering, Joe made an immediate assessment that
everyone above the fire was doomed to death, and the
buildings would collapse.
Joe was involved in the rescue operation, the South
tower fell at 9:59 a.m. Joe was buried alive with
a fractured skull, broken ribs, broken arm, crushed
spine and heavy internal bleeding. Shortly after being
found alive in the rubble, they removed Joe on a long
spine board and placed him on the deck of a boat on
the Hudson River, with the expectation of getting
him to a hospital.
emergency personnel were holding his split scalp together,
the North Tower fell and buried Joe alive again. He
was alone in the engine room.
45 minutes later, Joe was once again rescued from
the debris, and taken across the Hudson River, where
he awoke in a hospital room at the Jersey City Trauma
Center in New Jersey. Because he was wearing a borrowed
set of firefighting clothing with the name Thomas
McNamara, Joe was misidentified by that name, and
Joe was declared missing for 3 days.
the time the sun set on the evening of September11,
2001, Joe had miraculously survived the collapse of
both Towers, but with life-long injuries.
Alive With the Will to Survive - From Devastation to
The lessons Joe learned on and after September
11, 2001 inspire attendees to thrive through change
under any circumstance, and to accept and handle unexpected
stress and adversities - redirecting them with positive
empowerment toward reaching their goals and dreams.
Attitude and perseverance are everything. **This program
will be customized by Joe to meet your goals for the
"Teamwork Now More Than Ever"
In a weak economy, with constant threats of
downsizing and layoffs, human behavior will fester in
many different ways. Competition has always been the
name of the game and will always be what most employees
consider their path to job security. Joe inspires all
levels of employees to keep a “Team State of Mind”
in all of their projects and job duties. Attendees leave
this session with a renewed sense of their important
individual role as a part of the Team!
" Putting the Spark in Your Fire"
This is a corporate focused presentation focused
on bringing all levels of employees and managers together,
and re-identifying the intent of a person being dedicated
to their work or job. Joe parallels his own career as
a 25 year Lieutenant with the N.Y.C. Fire department
as both a labor leader and an upper manager. The end
result has “the workers” and “the
boss” recognizing and appreciating each others’
contribution to the efforts of the company.
" Prejudice, Stereotyping, and Discrimination"
The “ key point “ of the presentation
is to remind everyone that stereotyping in general is
not the issue, but more importantly it’s how we
react to stereotyping - which can be a huge problem.
Joe will give explicit examples of stereotyping, and
will prompt audience participation. This
presentation will be sure to teach the skills that may
prevent incidents where a person alienates another,
ultimately ruining potential relationships or windows
of opportunity. The audience will leave the presentation
fully comprehending that those who do the most for us
in life, are usually those that we least expected. The
moral to the story is: Treat everyone equally, because
you’ll never know who your heroes in life will
Price Tag of Greed, An Overview of a Chutes and Ladders
Joe was a poor kid from an Italian ghetto in
Brooklyn, New York who was exposed to a life of crime
as a young kid. Instead of following in the footsteps
of gangsters, he earned his way in to the most accomplished
and respected organizations in the world, the New York
City Fire Department. Hear
the stories of people of fame and notoriety who threw
it all away for the sake of illegal and immoral actions.
Using simple arithmetic, people will be amazed how devastating
costly greed inflicted mistakes can be.
from the Mafia to missionaries will be discussed, and
attendees will think not twice, but a hundred times,
before they themselves fall to errant ways. The final
message to the audience is simple: It can take a lifetime
to build a reputation, but you can lose it one split
2010 MIDAMERICA SPEAKERS BUREAU