“Mullan Hall” dedicated in memory of U.S. soldier, firefighter killed during 9-11 response

\"MullanFORT EUSTIS, Va. – The Joint Task Force Civil Support headquarters was dedicated here June 14, 2012 in memory of one of the 343 New York City firefighters who died while responding to the terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center more than 11 years ago.

FORT EUSTIS, Va. – The Joint Task Force Civil Support headquarters was dedicated here June 14, 2012 in memory of one of the 343 New York City firefighters who died while responding to the terrorist attacks against the World Trade Center more than 11 years ago.

More than 200 people turned out for the celebration. The building, now “Mullan Hall,” is named in memory of Michael Dermott Mullan, a 34-year-old New York City firefighter wither Ladder 12 who died Sept. 11, 2001. The building is located at 1504 Madison Avenue, Joint Base Langley Eustis, Newport News, Va.

“This is the closest I’ll ever come to winning the lottery and I thank you very much,” said Theresa V. Mullan – Michael’s mother - during the ceremony. “Can you believe 100 years from now someone will say, 'I'll meet you at Mullan Hall’?”

Mullan died while rescuing civilians and firefighters trapped inside the Marriott Hotel adjacent to the World Trade Center. Instead of heeding an order to evacuate the hotel, Mullan instead chose to respond to a distress call from two other firefighters located several floors up, according to Mullan’s official citation and biography. As he made his way up the stairs, the Tower Two fell, tearing away most of the face of the hotel, according to the official account. Mullan is listed as one of four firefighters inside the hotel who did not survive.

“He was dedicated to the job, to his mission and to serving others,” said U.S. Air Force Maj. Gen. Jonathan T. Treacy, JTF-CS commander, during the ceremony. “He was devoted to his fellow firefighters and service members, and he was driven to helping others in the truest sense of service before self.”

But Mullan was more than a New York City firefighter. He was also a U.S. Army Reserve captain and emergency room nurse, and was remembered as a self-less, caring person; a Yankees fan; and a bit of a prankster who “was larger than life,” according to fellow New York City fire fighter Capt. Charles Ehni.

“When you walked into the firehouse and Mike was already there, you knew you were going to have a good day,” Ehni told a local news reporter following the ceremony.

Ehni was one of 24 New York City fire fighters who attended the ceremony, including New York City Fire Department Battalion Chief Thomas S. McCarthy, who was Mullan’s captain during the Sept. 11 response.

Several of Mullan’s immediate family members were also in attendance, including sister Kelly Ann, brother Patrick, Patrick’s wife Ann Marie and son Patrick Jr., and Mrs. Mullan’s godson Frank and his family. Also in attendance were local fire fighters from Newport News, Fort Eustis and Hampton, Va.; Virginia Delegate David Yancey, and various other local government, civic and community representatives. In addition to Treacy, featured speakers were Congressman Bobby Scott of Virginia’s Third District and Battalion Chief Thomas S. McCarthy, who was injured in 9-11 and was Mullan’s captain at the time of the tragedy.

During the ceremony, Mullan’s mother and Treacy unveiled the metal placard mounted just outside the building’s entrance. The placard reads: “Mullan Hall, named in honor of Michael D. Mullan, Captain, USAR. CPT Michael D. Mullan, USAR, was a decorated U.S. Army Reserve nurse, an emergency room nurse, and a New York City firefighter, cited for bravery. He died
during the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attack on the World Trade Center while rescuing civilians and fellow firefighters trapped inside the adjacent Marriott Hotel. As a first responder, CPT Mullan was committed to saving lives while serving his country as a Warrior Citizen. That core principle is the backbone of Joint Task Force Civil Support , whose mission was established to save lives and mitigate loss in the event of a chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear attack on the United States.”

Following the ceremony, the Mullan family, firefighters and other attendees attended a cake cutting ceremony inside Mullan Hall to commemorate the dedication. Members of Joint Task Force Civil Support provided building tours to the guests. The Joint Task Force Civil Support lobby is adorned with display cases of Mullan’s personal belongings, such as his U.S. Army uniform, New York City fire fighter helmet, medals and citations, and a framed collage featuring photos of Mullan on the job as a firefighter and U.S. Soldier.

“I’m excited that every day when we pass through the lobby of Mullan Hall, we will be reminded of our core values; professionalism, honor, loyalty, and service before self,” said Treacy. “Today’s dedication highlights the true nature of the JTF-CS mission and how critical it is to be ready to respond at a moment’s notice.”

Joint Task Force Civil Support is the only standing chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear response joint task force in the U.S. If called upon, JTF-CS provides command and control of 5,200 federal military forces located at more than 36 locations throughout the U.S. Designed to provide a life-saving capability within 24 hours of notification, these federal military forces offer various life-saving military assets such as search and rescue and emergency medical capabilities.

Joint Task Force Civil Support relocated to its current location here from Fort Monroe, Va., last year as part of the 2005 Base Realignment and Closure Act. The move transitioned Joint Task Force Civil Support from four buildings and about 47,000 square feet of space at Fort Monroe to a single building – Mullan Hall – which has about 63,000 square feet of space.

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