The Last True Hero
The title of the first chapter of The Last True Hero is “No Masks, Radios, Tower Ladders, Saws, Bunker Gear” – and those words pretty much describe what the FDNY did not have when Phil Burns became a member back in 1963. In many ways Phil’s new book is a More »
Just as he did in previous works, Laughter, Tears & Muffled Drums and …bringing everybody home, Phil Burns continues to capture the moments of his fellow firefighters’ lives, whether the moment occurs while fighting a massive fire sweeping through the decks of the aircraft carrier USS Constellation, searching for survivors in airplane wreckage scattered on the congested streets of Brooklyn after a midair collision, wild nights in the South Bronx during the 1980s, or the horrors of September 11th.
The Last True Hero also explores the different strategies FDNY units employ in Old Law and New Law tenements, stately Brooklyn Brownstones, residential hi-rises, and row after row of row houses, while also answering the timeless question, “If there’s nothing left to burn, why are the CO readings so high?” And, of course, the tales in The Last True Hero express Phil’s deep appreciation of the firehouse characters and crazies he encountered during his career, and the many, many lasting friendships that form between firefighters – people who risk their lives with and for each other every single day.
While not every department faces the same dangers, day in and day out that FDNY confronts, Phil Burns knows that all firefighters in all departments put their lives on the line every time they don their gear and respond to an alarm. Phil Burns reminds us that in reality, every firefighter is...the last true hero.