Never Forget: On 9/11 Actor Steve Buscemi Quietly Returned To His Job As FDNY Firefighter

On 9/11, actor Steve Buscemi returned to his first career as a FDNY firefighter. In the early 80s, he was with Engine 55.

Steve Buscemi is known best for his acting, but before he was on the big screen he played a real life role as a hero as a New York Firefighter. The drive to save lives remained in his blood as “The Big Lebowski” actor quietly returned to the FDNY after the September 11th terrorist attacks. Steve Buscemi is a great actor, but the role he played after 9/11 is the one we should remember and celebrate most.

It takes a different breed of hero to run into burning buildings as everyone else is running out. That bravery was most evident on September 11, 2001.

After seeing terrorists attack us, the “Boardwalk Empire” star returned to his roots of saving lives. Quietly, Steve Buscemi rejoined the FDNY not for publicity but to help his firefighter brothers who had suffered tremendous loss on 9/11 and kept persevering. 

Steve Buscemi Did Not Publicize His 9/11 FDNY Return

This wasn’t known until 12 years later when Brotherhood of Fire shared on Facebook that Steve Buscemi returned to lend a hand to his old FDNY.

When Buscemi was 18-years-old he sat for the civil service test to become a firefighter. Four years later, he achieved that goal and served with FDNY fro 1980 to 1984 when he began his break into Hollywood.

He served among FDNY’s busiest in Engine Co. 55 in Manhattan’s Little Italy. Buscemi returned to Engine 55 on September 11th. 

“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,” Brother of Fire shares.

Related: On 9/11, This Small Town Suddenly Welcomed 7500 Stranded Visitors

“Very few photographs and no interviews exist because he declined them,” the Facebook post continues. “He wasn’t there for the publicity.”

This isn’t something Buscemi seeks praise for and that’s why it’s so touching. He doesn’t want to the be celebrity who returned for a photo op during a crisis. He just wants to support his firefighter brothers.

Hurricane Sandy

9/11 wasn’t the only time Steve Buscemi picked back up his firefighter gear.

The 62-year-old also returned to help in 2012 after Hurricane Sandy. Again, he was not seeking fanfare. Buscemi was simply circling back to where he began to lend a hand.

Watch Steve Buscemi discuss his time with FDNY in the early 80s on “Live With Kelly and Ryan” in the video below. 

Read next: 13 Children of 9/11 Fallen Firefighters Join FDNY To Honor Their Hero Dads

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