Capt. Louis Modafferi, Res.5 MODEST WINNER After they took the captain’s test, Lts. Robert Dimperio and Louis Modafferi compared notes. Lieutenant Dimperio knew he’d aced it; Lieutenant Modafferi knew he’d done badly. Results: Lieutenant Dimperio missed it by a point. Lieutenant Modafferi was among the top 10 scorers in the Fire Department. Captain Modafferi, 45, who was awaiting assignment as a battalion chief, was so modest that many people had no idea about his accomplishments — although they knew all about those of Christine, 18; Michael, 16; and Joseph, 12. The captain led Staten Island’s Rescue 5, an elite company that saves people from a horrendous array of precarious situations. Captain Modafferi also worked on a federal rescue team, racing to aid victims in plane crashes and Caribbean hurricanes. To make extra money, he fixed dents in cars. As a boss, he was good-humored and fair-minded. If he was teaching you something, he acted as if you knew it already and he was just reminding you of some details. He was a man of many loyalties: married to Joanne and the job for about 20 years; played softball with childhood friends, three of whom worked with him at Rescue 5. Rarely rattled, when he got home he relieved job stress fervently but safely: he vacuumed. Profile published in THE NEW YORK TIMES on December 30, 2001.