TSA dog named after fallen 9/11 FDNY firefighter retires

Ssiller, a 7-year-old lab, was named after Stephen Siller, who died during the 9/11 rescue efforts

By Alison Fox
The amNewYork

NEW YORK — It’s time for this dog to take a paws.

Ssiller, a 7-year-old black lab named for a firefighter who died on 9/11, retired from the Transportation Security Administration Sunday.

Ssiller the TSA dog with a TSA official.
Ssiller the TSA dog with a TSA official. (Photo/TSA)

“Ssiller has been an ideal partner,” his handler, TSA Inspector Christopher Neeson, said in a statement. “It’s going to be a big change for him in retirement, one that he deserves for so many years of service to the mission. I imagine he’ll miss working in the airport.”

Ssiller was named for FDNY Firefighter Stephen Siller, who had finished his shift and was heading home when he heard about the attacks. He turned around and drove to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel but found it closed, so he strapped on his gear and ran to the towers on foot. Siller died during the rescue efforts.

His doggy counterpart, who worked as an explosives detection canine at Kennedy Airport for six years, officially retired on Sunday. Both Ssiller and Neeson ran the Tunnel to Towers race that day, along with thousands of others, honoring Siller’s last steps.

Ssiller and Neeson were presented with a plaque recognizing the dog’s “immeasurable contributions, untiring spirit and faithful service to the mission of protecting our nation’s transportation systems and dedicated service to our country.”

Now, Ssiller gets to spend his time “just being a dog,” according to the agency. Neeson is adopting Ssiller to live with him during retirement.

Copyright 2016 amNewYork

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