Bensonhurst’s Bravest recognized for life-saving work

Bensonhurst’s Bravest, Engine Company 253, remained humble in the face of accolades from Assemblymember William Colton and 47th Assembly District Leader Nancy Tong, who visited the firefighters at their 86th Street stationhouse on Friday, October 17 to thank them for all that they do every day – and all they did for one particular family eight months ago.

“We heard from our constituents about how they responded within a couple of minutes and were so professional and pleasant, and I felt it was important for them to be recognized,” said Colton. “To them, it’s routine, but to the families affected, it’s not routine.”

“You do a great job, not just in this instance, but all of the time,” added Tong.

The fire was reported on February 10 at a house on West 13th Street between Quentin Road and Highlawn Avenue and firefighters from Engine 253 arrived swiftly, putting out the flames and saving the lives of all of the house’s residents in the process.

In the following months, several constituents called Colton and Tong to note what to them was the firefighters’ exceptional bravery and service.

So, Colton and Tong presented citations to each of the firefighters involved, as well as Engine 253 as a whole, in order to thank them formally.

Individual citations were given to Lieutenant John Kielty, Firefighter James Profeta, Firefighter Peter Banks, Firefighter Dominick Saia, and Firefighter Steven Pascale.

Although they all insisted it was just part of the job, “it’s nice to be recognized,” admitted Banks. “It’s a point of pride.”

Also something they are proud of is serving their neighbors.

“My cousins grew up on 84th Street and I grew up in Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst,” added Pascale. “So being here as a fireman and seeing the neighborhood change and grow has been great.”

Engine 253 has been stationed on 86th Street near Bay 37th Street since 1896. As a single engine firehouse, it has 20 members.

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