Many people know Steve Buscemi for his famous roles as quirky, eccentric, characters in iconic films such as Reservoir Dogs, The Big Lebowski, Monsters Inc., and Fargo to name a few. Most people don’t realize that this famous actor was once a NYFD fireman that served on one of New York City’s busiest engines. Buscemi took the civil service at just 18 years old, four years later he was proudly calling himself one of New York’s bravest. He was assigned to Engine 55 in Manhattan’s Little Italy.
Buscemi would leave the NYFD to pursue an acting career. The Brooklyn-native served for four years before ending his firefighting career in 1984. He would, however, briefly return to service on 9/11/01 after terrorists launched the most significant terrorist attack in American History. Buscemi, and his brother Steve, both volunteered to work 12-hour shifts. The two men stood shoulder to shoulder with other firemen and volunteers digging through wreckage in the hopes of finding survivors.
Very few photos of Buscemi as a firefighter exist. He left the FDNY before becoming famous and has declined, on several occasions, to take photos in firefighter gear because he doesn’t want his service to become a publicity stunt. The humble actor has, however, made several appearances at FDNY union meetings to make speeches and show his support for the FDNY.