As a proud volunteer firefighter in his hometown, wish kid Michael wanted to build off of that experience and be an honorary member of the FDNY.
In August 2015, 18-year-old Michael was granted the wish of a lifetime - to be an FDNY firefighter!
When visited by his wish granting volunteers, Michael clearly knew that he wanted to have the experience of being “one of the guys” and learn what a typical day as an FDNY firefighter is like.
To kick off his two day experience, Michael was brought to Engine Co. 93, Ladder Co. 45 in the Washington Heights section of New York City. Here he was greeted by the 13th Battalion Chief and the Board Chair of Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley, Brian Doyle. Michael was quickly whisked into roll call formation and so began his day as a FDNY probationary (probie) officer.
Once he was assigned a position, Michael quickly donned his uniform. He was given the gear and helmet of one of the probationary firefighters who is currently serving overseas with the United States Marine Corps. Once he was all geared up, Michael was trained by the members of the company and performed a roof cutting drill and auto extrication. His training also including learning to fly a tower ladder, tiller, and a tractor drawn aerial ladder. Michael was then treated to a hearty lunch at the firehouse before heading to his next session – fireboard training! He spent the afternoon with the FDNY Marine Division. This was highlighted by a ride on the new FDNY Fireboat 343. The Fireboat offered Michael and his family some amazing sights on the Hudson River including a close up view of the Statue of Liberty. Once his day ended, Michael and his family visited Ground Zero and the 9/11 Memorial Museum.
On the following day, Michael was given a tour of the FDNY’s Training Academy on Randall’s Island. During the tour he was suddenly called into the auditorium of the main building. Michael opened the doors and entered the room to see the probationary recruits applauding him as FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro, FDNY Chief of Department James E. Leonard, and the staff chiefs of the FDNY stood on stage. Michael was called up on stage, introduced, and welcomed by Commissioner Nigro. Here he was sworn in to the FDNY and given a badge, deeming him an honorary FDNY firefighter! Once the ceremony concluded, Michael was given more FDNY swag and spent a few hours performing some drills at the training academy with the recruits before heading back home to Ulster County.
This wish was made possible by the collaboration of the Fire Department of New York (FDNY), Make-A-Wish Metro & Western NY, and Make-A-Wish Hudson Valley Board Chair,Brian Doyle. Together we fulfilled Michael’s dream of being one of New York’s Bravest!
FDNY Fire Commissioner, Daniel A. Nigro