Last Man Down
ISBN: 1101220759 Global Overview for this book
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I grew up around volunteer firefighters and spent my early adulthood as a member of the emergency services. While I was never much of a firefighter (my interests focused more on the emergency medical services), I worked side-by-side with firefighters and considered them part of my larger emergency services family. But I had left that world before 2001, and didn't have any direct role to play that day, so I could only watch in horror as the images flashed across my television screen. Even before anyone said anything, I *knew* deep in my core that firefighters had died that day.
But not Chief Picciotto. And his survival is nothing short of an absolute miracle. The title of his account of that day is literally true. He was the last man to come down the tower and survive. By his account he was still between the 6th and 7th floors of the second tower when it collapsed, trapping him in the rubble. His account of how he escaped from the debris, and of the events that led him to be there, is powerful and gripping. He is a true hero, who saved many, many lives that day, including his own. His story is both remarkable, because it is so far outside anyone's normal experiences, and, at the same time, entirely unremarkable, because his actions and responses are so totally in keeping with the nature of firefighters everywhere.
In spite of the horrific nature of the tragedy of that day, this book was not, in any way, a depressing read. Instead, it was inspiring. It is a story of triumph over the most extreme adversity, and is a powerful testament to the will and character of this man.
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