Steve Buscemi returned to his job as a firefighter in the aftermath of 9/11 3 years ago

Steve Buscemi returned to his job as a firefighter in the aftermath of 9/11

Not just a great actor

Steve Buscemi is pretty great actor – that’s not a controversial statement. While he rarely has lead roles in films, he’s had incredibly memorable parts in classics like Reservoir Dogs, Fargo, The Big Lebowski and Con Air.

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And that’s not all he’s done. He directed the greatest ever episode of The Sopranos, and also starred in some of the internet’s favourite memes.

But as well as providing us with countless hours of entertainment, it turns out Steve Buscemi has done something much more heroic.

Prior to making his film debut in 1985 – and breaking through to the mainstream in the early 1990s – Buscemi was a firefighter. In the early 1980s, he served four years in the FDNY's Engine Co. 55 in Manhattan's Little Italy.

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After the attacks on the World Trade Centre on September 11th, 2001, Buscemi returned to his old job, working a twelve-hour shift at his former station, searching the rubble for survivors.

He did it all with virtually no fanfare, and his actions only really came to light in a Facebook post on the Fire Brotherhood in 2013.

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"After 9/11/2001... Brother Buscemi returned to FDNY Engine 55." the post read.

"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.

"Very few photographs and no interviews exist because he declined them. He wasn't there for the publicity."

"It was a privilege to be able to do it," the actor said when he was asked about it. "It was great to connect with the firehouse I used to work with and with some of the guys I worked alongside."

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"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."