Steve Buscemi has made a name for himself on the silver screen, but his actions during the tragic events of the September 11 terrorist attack in New York City are ones that will be remembered for years to come by the people who were there. The events after the attack on the World Trade Center saw many differing acts of heroism across the city, as thousands of people flocked to help and assist those in need. One memorable story from the tragedy came from one of Hollywood's most memorable faces.
Buscemi, prior to his acting career, had been an active fireman in the New York City Fire Department (FDNY). He served them between 1980–1984 and despite leaving the fire service to pursue his career in acting, the events of 9/11 brought him back to the FDNY to help them during the rescue missions. Buscemi spent the week of the attacks helping those in need by serving the FDNY. He would carry out 12-hour shifts and help his former colleagues search for any people they could find in the remains of the World Trade Center.
During his week of service, many people and reporters tried to grab interviews or pictures with him, but he outright refused to comply to them and instead carried on with his fire service duties. Buscemi had previously served with Engine 55 during his time in the FDNY, patrolling the areas in and around Little Italy. Buscemi had stayed in touch with some of his old work colleagues despite moving into the world of acting and being away from New York.
He was in New York when the events unfolded and had heard how many people and firefighters were missing. Naturally, he knew he had to help them out. Donning his old uniform, he did whatever he could to help out the firefighters and people of New York city during the aftermath of the attacks.
Some years after his service to the FDNY during the 9/11 attacks, Buscemi stated how:
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. 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. It wasn't until I stopped that I really felt the full impact of what had happened. It would have been much harder for me to get through it if I hadn't been able to do that.
Buscemi has since made a small documentary encouraging others to act as he did and join the FDNY. Titled A Good Job, the film has an underlying message to any current firefighters: Do not be afraid of asking for help when dealing with trauma suffered in the line of duty.
Buscemi chose to help those who needed it most. For this, he will always be known as a great guy. Steve Buscemi, you're a true hero!