The Last Men Out by Tom Downey
Life on the Edge at Rescue 2 Firehouse

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The inside story of one of America’s most elite firehouses and the extraordinary brotherhood of men who face extreme danger every day

Firefighting is a world of absolutes: evil is a red devil that wants destruction and death, good is a charged hose line, full of water to fight the flames. The best and boldest firefighters in the country, the men of Rescue 2 are hand-picked to fight not just the biggest blazes but any other emergency New York can throw at them. The sheer adrenaline of the job is perfectly captured in the dramatic story of their firehouse, a model for others nationwide--dubbed "the cuisinart" because it slices up new recruits.

The story begins in the late 1990s as Phil Ruvolo takes command just a few years after the departure of Captain Ray Downey, a legendary FDNY leader. Ruvolo inherits a stubborn group of vets, many still loyal to Downey. He also steps into a firehouse mourning the recent loss of a brother-- Rescue 2's first fire fatality since the 1950s.

Tom Downey takes us into the fireman’s world: the smell of their coats after a good fire, the hardened eyes of a veteran after a fellow fireman’s death, the humor and camaraderie. His firemen are not cardboard heroes; they’re a group of gritty, larger-than-life personalities brought together by dedication and a mission to save lives. Rescue 2 doesn’t leave a fire until everybody’s safe. They’re the last men out. Theirs is an inspiring story destined to become a classic.


About Tom Downey

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Tom Downey is a writer-filmmaker who grew up in a family of firefighters. He is also the nephew of the late, legendary Chief Ray Downey, former head of rescue operations for the FDNY, who arranged for Tom to live and work with Rescue 2¹s men in order to make a film (which aired on The Learning Channel). Tom spent a year in the house before 9/11, when his uncle died, and has also been on hand since that disaster.
Published June 1, 2004 by Henry Holt and Co.. 320 pages
Genres: Biographies & Memoirs, History, Professional & Technical, Computers & Technology, Science & Math. Non-fiction

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Brooklyn’s Rescue 2 company is charged with saving endangered firefighters from other houses.

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