From Police Heroes, a book by author Chuck Whitlock:
Captain Kathy Mazza, forty-six, was the first female commanding officer of the Port Authority Police Academy. On September 11, she joined her colleagues at the scene. When there was a bottleneck of people at the revolving doors in the North Tower, she shot out the floor-to-ceiling glass walls on the mezzanine. Her action allowed hundreds of people to escape. She was last seen with Lieutenant Robert Cirri as they were helping carry a woman down the stairs when the building collapsed.
Captain Mazza grew up in Massapequa, New York, with three brothers. After she graduated from Nassau Community College, she was an operating room nurse at two New York hospitals, the Long Island Jewish Hospital in Queens and St. Francis Hospital in Roslyn, New York. In 1987, after ten years of working as a cardiothoracic nurse in the operating room, she enrolled in the Port Authority Police Academy. She patrolled JFK Airport for a year, worked in the central police pool for one year, then returned to JFK Airport for the next six years. She was promoted to sergeant in 1994 and was assigned to the Police Academy for three years and was promoted to lieutenant in December 1998 while at the academy. Her next assignment was the Staten Island Bridges/New Jersey Marine Terminals command. In April 2000 she became one of only two female captains in the Port Authority, which at the time had fourteen male captains.
In 1992, she had open-heart surgery to correct a quarter-size hole. A year later, she saved her mother’s life by recognizing what her mother’s chest pains meant – that her arteries were blocked.
During her career with the Port Authority, she supervised the agency’s first-aid programs and certified first responder and EMT training. She also taught emergency medical service programs at the Port Authority Police Academy. In 1999 the Regional Emergency Medical Services Council of New York City named Captain Mazza its Basic Life Support Provider of the Year based on her work on the use of portable heart defibrillators. The training program she initiated in 1997 for six hundred officers to use defibrillators in airports has saved at least thirteen lives.
Captain Mazza was married to Christopher Delosh for sixteen years. He is a police officer of the New York Police Department working at the 25th Precinct in Harlem. At a memorial service for emergency service workers, Mayor Guiliani said of Mazza, as reported by the New York Post: “She was a trailblazer with a career that was truly unique. She had an incredible desire to help people. She’s an American hero.”
Portraits of Grief, The New York Times
The “Family Fisherperson”
When Kathy Mazza threw her line into the water, fish couldn’t resist. At least, it always seemed that way. Ms. Mazza didn’t get to fish as much as she would have liked in recent years, but she was known as the “family fisherperson” because of her chronic success.
When she was growing up and went fishing with her brothers, she was the one who came home loaded down with all the fish. “On our honeymoon, we went to Acapulco and we went deep-sea fishing,” said her husband, Christopher Delosh. “No one got anything, except her. She hooked a sailfish. It took her 90 minutes to reel it in, but she did it.”
Ms. Mazza, 46, lived in Farmingdale, N.Y., with Mr. Delosh. She was a police captain with the Port Authority, and the first female commander at its police training academy. Trained as a nurse, she taught emergency medical service at the academy, a fact not lost on her neighbors.
“Everyone in the neighborhood would come to the house when anything was wrong,” Mr. Delosh said. “Like, a young man across the street hurt his hand and he was with his grandmother, who didn’t know what to do. Another neighbor was having chest pains. It turned out she was having a heart attack.”