NJ Speakers Bureau

Who is Joe Torrillo

A now retired 25 year Lieutenant with the NYC Fire Dept. dedicated to traveling the country to talk publicly about his experiences during 9/11 with the goal of making America more united.

9/11 Hero and Public Speaker

Buried alive twice on September 11, 2001, this smart, funny, and now retired FDNY Lieutenant shares his amazing stories and strong messages that attendees will never forget.

Joe travels the world as a professional speaker with a quest to make our country the “Re-United States of America,” resurrecting patriotism and inspiring audiences of all types. He speaks at schools, government/military events, fire departments, and more! Below are some of the programs he offers.

I have been speaking for more than 25 years and have helped hundreds of thousands of people become better and safer.

Some Of Topics Joe is Famous For Speaking About

Buried alive twice on the day that everyone remembers where they were when America was attacked 4 times in 3 different locations; Joe survived with major life-threatening injuries. Listen to Joe how he recounts every second of being buried twice, and his road to recovery and inspiring audiences around the world.

When given a huge responsibility to co-create the first state-of-the-art
fire safety learning center, Joe was thrown into an arena of people with different experiences and disciplines. Joe collated everyone’s talents and had it culminate into an Emmy award-winning venue.

In a working environment, coworkers have areas of expertise that could and should be shared by all. Just like Firefighters in a firehouse, we constantly learn from each other. All of this translates into better policies and procedures.

Often times companies and corporations suffer the
doldrums of unmotivated employees and complacent management. Unfortunately, in a competitive economy, this scenario is a huge detriment, to say the least. As the senior Firefighter in his firehouse, Joe’s responsibility was to not only motivate new Firefighters but to re-motivate those old grumpy “salts” as well.

When faced with a new project that has no definitive boundaries, moving forward in a logical fashion can seem overly complicated. By starting with an agreed “mission statement”, piece by piece Joe will reveal how he took a design challenge from concept to completion that won the very prestigious “TEA” award at the Emmy’s in 2002 for a new “edutainment” center, “The Fire Zone”

In Joe’s viewpoint, life is like a pinball machine. You get swatted time and time again, bounce off walls, ring some bells, and fall into holes. Any successful person can relate to that. It’s all about strength, resiliency, and determination without the fear of a calendar or a ticking clock.

Besides being a career Firefighter in New York City, Joe is also an accomplished Carpenter. Joe learned very quickly in the home renovation business how important it is to become privy to other trades and craftsmen. Joe now lectures at construction trade shows teaching attendees the coordination of the various trades and how they interact in the building process. le buname process.

Way too often workers never give themselves the opportunity to befriend each other outside of the office. Forming friendships and relations is always a bonus in promoting company spirit and morale. Firefighters consider all other Firefighters from around the world a “Brother”. There’s almost nothing they wouldn’t do for each other, especially in dire times of need. Joe feels that there is no reason for everyone to not share in this camaraderie.

Typically, workers and supervisors can have unreasonable expectations of each other, and never get to appreciate the contribution that each other makes in keeping a company profitable. Joe has been on both sides of the fence as a Union delegate defending workers’ rights and as a first-line supervising Lieutenant. Let him explain very simply the misconceptions that cause issues with both groups.

My Story

On New Year’s Eve of 1996 as a newly promoted Lieutenant, I suffered a severe injury in a rescue attempt of a trapped woman in Brooklyn. In that year-long recuperation, I was convalescing in the Office of Fire Safety Education. In this new position, I gained a stellar reputation for lowering the incidents of fired and fatalities in NYC to levels thought unattainable and co-designed their first-ever fire safety education center in Rockefeller Center that won the coveted Emmy equivalent “TEA”‘ award beating out Disney and Six Flags.

Before September 11th, 2001, Joe was an NYC Firefighter and Public Speaker since 1996. He spoke at fire departments and other events about safety and justice.

By the time the sun set on the evening of September 11th, 2001, Joe had miraculously survived the collapse of both Towers, but with life-long injuries. He is now retired and continues his public speaking endeavors with the goal to making the world a safer and better place.

In January of 2001, I was asked to partner with the “Fisher-Price” Corp. to help them design a child’s “action figure” called “Billy Blazes” that was a likeness of an NYC Firefighter. The Fisher-Price Executives added a big mustache thinking Billy Blazes needed to look more like Joe Torrilllo. Joe chose the date of Sept. 11th, 2001 to introduce the action figure knowing what was to happen that horrendous day. On the morning of September 12th, 2001 when the dust cloud dissipated from the collapse of the Twin Towers people realized that Superman, Batman, and Spider-Man are not real. The only Children’s Rescue Hero who came to life was Billy Blazers on 9-11-01. In February 2019 in honor of Joe, the Fisher-Price Corporation named their new Rescue Hero; Joe Torrillo. Thee ONLY person in the world to have this honor.

Public Speaking

Joe now continues with the public speaking he did before 9/11 but with a new mission. To promote safety, kindness, and justice. 

Fisher-Price Partnership

In January of 2001, he was asked to partner with Fisher-Price to help them design a child’s “action figure” called “Billy Blazes” that was a likeness of an NYC Firefighter. The action figure was later named Joe Torillo in 2019 by the Fisher-Price Corp.

9/11 First Responder

Joe retired after suffering lifelong injuries from being buried alive under both towers during the 9/11 attacks. He served as a firefighter in New York City for over 25 years.

Promoted Lieutenant of NYC Fire Dept.

On New Year’s Eve of 1996 as a newly promoted Lieutenant, Joe suffered a severe injury in a rescue attempt of a trapped woman in Brooklyn. During recovery, Joe spent time convalescing in the Office of Fire Safety Education gaining a reputation for lowering the incidents of fires and fatalities in NYC to levels thought attainable. He also co-designed their first-ever fire safety education center in Rockefeller Center that won the coveted Emmy equivalent “TEA”‘ award beating out Disney and Six Flags.

What People Say

Below are just a few testimonials from organizations that
loved having Joe as their keynote Speaker.

Keynote speaker, Joe Torrillo, brought such a presence to the Nixon Library on September 11, 2011 when he spoke about the tragic events of 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
Lieutenant 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.
- Principal Burt Smith, Shepton High School, Plano Texas
In our search for a speaker who was a survivor of the attack in New York on September 11th, 2001, we found Joe who 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 benefitted 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 Annecy, France

Reach Out to Joe Torrillo

When you book Joe Torrillo as your speaker, he will spend time with you by phone, making sure he has a clear understanding of your needs and goals. Joe will create a customized program that is right on target for your attendees. They will leave your event inspired and excited to use the information they learned during the session.