Richard Pearlman had one dream that he held above all the rest. He dreamed of working in EMS to help others.
Richie joined the Forest Hills VAC Youth Corps at the age of 14. He became the regular Tuesday night and Saturday dispatcher. Living in Howard Beach, he would regularly travel 40 minutes one way by bus to reach the Corps headquarters to fulfill this duty. He was willing, able, and eager to learn as much as he could.
In turn Richie also became involved with the Boy Scouts of America. There he was able to share both how to properly call for help and first aid skills he learned at the ambulance corps with the younger scouts.
At the age of 18 he joined the Forest Hills VAC Senior Corps and was issued a Corps shield, #3754. His presence continued at every can shaking and blood pressure check the corps held, but more importantly he was finally old enough to enroll in an EMT course.
On the morning September 11, 2001 Richie was in downtown Manhattan running an errand for his daytime job when he learned of the incident at the World Trade Center. Richie headed on foot to the site with the intention of meeting up with FHVAC ambulance Forest Hills 1 that had been dispatched to the scene. Richie never met up with the crew, but he was photographed by a Newsweek reporter shortly before the collapse of the South Tower doing what he had also wanted to do, help others.
The Forest Hills VAC has a wall in their headquarters dedicated to his memory: