Steve Buscemi Was a Firefighter Before He Was an Actor–on 9/11 He Signed Back up To Search for Survivors

by Jeremy Spirogis
Steve Buscemi poses with his award for Best Actor in a Television Series (Drama) for "Boardwalk Empire" in the press room at the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards

Steve Buscemi is called one in all Hollywood’s nice character actors. But earlier than he was an actor, he was a firefighter in New York. When his appearing profession began choosing up he left his post on the fireplace division. Then on 9/12/2001, he returned to his outdated place.

Steve Buscemi poses with his award for Best Actor in a Television Series (Drama) for "Boardwalk Empire" in the press room at the 68th Annual Golden Globe Awards
Steve Buscemi | Kevin Winter/Getty Images

Steve Buscemi the firefighter

From 1980 to 1984, when he was in his early 20s, Buscemi fought fires in Little Italy at 363 Broome Street in downtown Manhattan. The actor was a part of the engine firm after taking the civil service check just a few years prior.

“It’s very chaotic. There’s lots of noises, you hear glass being broken, you have a mask on so you can’t really see a lot,” Buscemi advised CBS of his time as a firefighter in New York. “It’s very hard to describe but all your senses are going. Your adrenaline is pumping and your mind is trying to stay focused.”

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Buscemi says he was nervous as a younger firefighter.

“I was, like, the quietest guy in the firehouse for a long time,” he stated.

The firefighter-turned-actor went on to say that it was a tough job, however made simpler by the individuals he labored with.

“It’s all about bringing in a hose and putting water on the fire,” he stated. “You know when you have a job a few blocks away because there’s a certain smell. It always helps that you have people surrounding you that help you through it.”

For some time, Buscemi pursued his appearing profession whereas concurrently combating fires. But after he received his function in 1986’s Parting Glances, he grew to become an actor full-time.

The day after 9/11, Steve Buscemi rejoined his outdated firm in New York

Though it had been years since Buscemi donned his flame-resistant uniform, the day after 9/11/2001, the actor returned to his unit. He labored 12-hour-days for per week aiding his fellow firefighters, 4 of whom misplaced their lives to the tragedy, seek for survivors and carry away the lifeless.

In complete, nearly 3,000 lives have been misplaced, 343 of which have been firefighters.

Other instances Steve Buscemi ditched Hollywood to return to his function as a firefighter

Buscemi didn’t swimsuit up simply when tragedy struck on 9/11. Through the years, he’s helped the place he might. In 2003, he was arrested at a union rally to protest for extra pay and in opposition to fireplace station closures. In 2012, he re-joined the FDNY to assist with clean-up after Hurrican Sandy.

RELATED: Steve Buscemi Reveals What Filming His Final Take of ‘Boardwalk Empire’ Was Like

In 2014, Buscemi produced a documentary known as A Good Job: Stories of the FDNY. But, general, he’s been fairly quiet about his involvement with the FDNY since his time as a firefighter in his early 20s.

It was solely when somebody wrote on the Brotherhood of Fire Facebook web page about Buscemi’s involvement with the division that individuals realized how he helped after 9/11.

“He wasn’t there for the publicity,” wrote Jonathan Lusk. “Once a brother, always a brother!”

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