In 2013, the Brotherhood of Fire Facebook page reminded people of his selfless act of courage, writing beneath a picture of Buscemi.
”Do you recognise this man? Do you know his name? Lots of people know he’s an actor, and that his name is Steve Buscemi. What very few people realise is that he was once one of New York’s Bravest.
“In 1976 Steve Buscemi took the FDNY civil service test when he was just 18 years old. In 1980 Steve Buscemi became a New York City Firefighters. For four years, Buscemi served on one of FDNY’s busiest, Engine Co. 55 in Manhattan’s Little Italy. He later left the fire service to become a successful actor, writer and director.
“After 9/11/2001… Brother Buscemi returned to FDNY Engine 55.
“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.”
Buscemi also been an advocate for firefighters’ welfare, telling CBS News: “Firefighters are great at helping others, they’re great at helping each other. But they’re not always—they don’t always know that they, themselves, are in need.
“Their first reaction would be: ‘Oh, the next guy has it worse, you know?'”
During the 11 September attacks 343 firefighters gave their lives protecting and rescuing others.
Buscemi still serves on the Board of Advisors for Friends of Firefighters, an organisation dedicated to New York firefighters and their relatives.