The highest-ranking firefighter to survive the World Trade Center collapse and the last fireman to escape the devastation, Richard “Pitch” Picciotto, was on a stairwell between the sixth and seventh floors of the North Tower when it collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001. Picciotto will provide the keynote address at Valley Forward Association’s 42nd Annual Lunch, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 9, at the Arizona Biltmore Resort.

Picciotto’s book, “Last Man Down,” is a tribute to the 343 firefighters and 2,400 civilians who lay dead in the rubble that surrounded him on that day. The book was an immediate New York Times bestseller upon its release in May 2002. He will be autographing copies of his book for luncheon attendees.

The event is open to the public at $85 per person; reservations can be made online at or by calling (602) 240-2408.

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