My father was a Union City firefighter for 30 years along with my one of my uncles.

If Denis Leary got his comedy influence from Bill Hicks, He could have gotten the Tommy Gavin “Rescue Me” character from my old man. My father drove the engine to the fire and was usually the last one out.

The reason I’m named Stephen is because my father was buried under a building and was dug out by a priest named Father Stephen Paul, who wouldn’t give up the search. My father lost 2 of his friends on the job and at times, the newspapers would call our house asking for him , then telling us how proud we must be about his latest rescue that we would know nothing about. My father, like most firefighters, never talked about the job because to him it was the job. It was what he’s paid to do and he did it well.


My oldest and dearest friend Rob Pisani became a fireman because of my father. When he was made Captain in the North Hudson Fire Department, he invited my father and I to the ceremony. It was there that a Chief who worked with my father told me how he had mentored him and how grateful he was.


I think of this in the wake of Newark Mayor Corey Booker fending off his security to rescue a woman from a house fire, then twittering about it on the way to the way to the hospital, going on the CBS Morning show, and holding a press conference by the burned building afterwards.


So much for “unsung” hero” If he sang anymore, he could open for Bruce Springsteen . Then he could even get tickets to the show ;).   After all he is the “Rock Star Mayor” Perhaps the Devils could honor him between playoff periods?  I don’t think so.


All kidding aside, It takes a special man to run into a burning building when others are running out, Kudos to Mayor Booker and kudos to the “unsung” heroes as well. If you would like to pay tribute to any of these men, please leave a comment below…