On Tuesday September 11, 2001, amid the devastation of the World Trade Centre attacks, Steve Buscemi returned to his former job as a New York firefighter.
Better known for his iconic film and TV roles, the actor returned to his old fire station, working twelve hour shifts alongside other firefighters, searching for survivors in the rubble.
Steve Buscemi returned to being a Fireman after 9/11 working 12 hour shifts. He refused interviews or pictures. Legend! pic.twitter.com/QP83bofa
— The Lake Poets (@TheLakePoets) September 28, 2011
But it wasn’t until years later – September 2013 – that a post on the Brotherhood of Fire Facebook page informed the world that the actor teamed up with his old crew, lending a hand when it was needed the most, Good reports.
The Brotherhood of Fire’s post read:
In 1976 Steve Buscemi took the FDNY civil service test when he was just 18 years old. In 1980 Steve Buscemi became a New York City Firefighter.
For four years, Buscemi served on one of FDNY’s busiest, Engine Co. 55 in Manhattan’s Little Italy.
After 9/11/2001… Brother Buscemi returned to FDNY Engine 55.
On September 12, 2001 and for several days following Brother Steve worked 12-hour shifts alongside other firefighters digging and sifting through the rubble from the World Trade Center looking for survivors.
Steve Buscemi: Hero Fireman pic.twitter.com/W758sAXh61
— Rob’em, Steve-Dave! (@askmerob) December 14, 2015
Very few photographs and no interviews exist because he declined them. He wasn’t there for the publicity.
Also not very well known is that in 2012 Brother Buscemi showed up in Breezy Point, NY and quietly assisted in the clean-up efforts of the damage and mass destruction left by Super Storm Sandy.
Once a brother, always a brother! Just so we’re clear… this guy is a Badass!!!
Tip of the helmet Brother Steve!
At the time, Buscemi said of his efforts:
It was a privilege to be able to do it. It was great to connect with the firehouse I used to work with and with some of the guys I worked alongside.
And it was enormously helpful for me because while I was working, I didn’t really think about it as much, feel it as much.
Along with the 2,977 victims who lost their lives that day, including 343 firefighters who gave their lives to protect and rescue others, it’s important to remember such inspirational actions and stories of courage, selflessness and compassion – like this one – which showcase the very best in people at a time we also face the worst. Thanks to Steve for reminding us of that.
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Tim Horner is a sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated with a BA Journalism from University College Falmouth before most his colleagues were born. A previous editor of adult mags, he now enjoys bringing the tone down in the viral news sector.