You might not know that Steve Buscemi—best known for his role in The Sopranos—played the real-life role of a hero during the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attack, reported People Magazine.
The actor, who was born in Brooklyn, also happens to have been a New York City firefighter. So when he saw the wreckage of the World Trade Center, he used his expertise to pull survivors out from under the rubble.
In fact, from 1980 to 1985, Buscemi worked as a firefighter in downtown Manhattan’s Engine Company 55. That station is only a few blocks away from the World Trade Center. When he helped people on 9/11 he worked alongside his "former comrades amid the wreckage on the day of the attacks," wrote People.
Retired NYFD battalion chief Richard Ardisson was there on 9/11. He told People about Buscemi's heroics in October of 2001.
"He put in 60 hours on top of the pile, pulling out victims...Not delivering coffee or giving moral support. He was exhausted and covered in soot."
Ardisson added, “He said he wanted no recognition. He said, ‘These are my brothers.’ ”
For days after 9/11, Buscemi continued to work 12-hour shifts. He put in a day's work like any other firefighter even though he was working as an actor at the time.
“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,” he said. “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.”
People says very few people know about how Buscemi worked in the aftermath of 9/11. At the time, he declined any interviews about the topic. In 2013, the Brotherhood of Fire celebrated him by posting a photo of him on their Facebook.
“Do you recognize this man? Do you know his name? Lots of people know he’s an actor, and that his name is Steve Buscemi. What very few people realize is that he was once one of New York’s Bravest," they captioned the photo.
The post continued, “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 Firefighters. For four years, Buscemi served on one of FDNY’s busiest, Engine Co. 55 in Manhattan’s Little Italy. He later left the fire service to become a successful actor, writer and director."
“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."
They concluded, “Very few photographs and no interviews exist because he declined them. He wasn’t there for the publicity.”
What a truly selfless act by an amazing actor. A reminder of the good that comes out in people during a tragedy. In other uplifting news, every conservatives favorite fast food restaurant welcomed a displaced Christian congregation.