Picture: Noam Galai/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald
Picture: Noam Galai/Getty Images for Cantor Fitzgerald

Fifteen years ago, on 11 September 2001, the veteran Hollywood actor Steve Buscemi returned to his job as a New York firefighter.

He worked twelve hour shifts for several days alongside other firefighters, searching for survivors in the rubble from the World Trade Center, following the attack that came to be known colloquially as 9/11.

The reason why was his appreciation for the firefighting service, having worked there for a number of years.

Steve Buscemi had taken the FDNY civil service test when he was 18, and used to work as a FDNY firefighter in downtown Manhattan in the 1980's.

He later left the service to become an actor, but has remained engaged in New York firefighters causes, having spoken at union rallies and hosted the HBO documentary A Good Job: Stories of the FDNY.

At the time, he said of his efforts during the rescue:

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.

He's also been an advocate for firefighters' welfare, telling CBS News:

Firefighters are great at helping others, they're great at helping each other. But they're not always—they don't always know that they, themselves, are in need.

Their first reaction would be, ‘Oh, the next guy has it worse, you know?

During the 11 September attacks 343 firefighters gave their lives protecting and rescuing others.

Buscemi still serves on the Board of Advisors for Friends of Firefighters, an organisation dedicated to New York firefighters and their relatives.

HT Good

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