Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Interview with NYC Firefighter Robert Lagnese

"I want to be a astronaut when I grow up!" "I want to be a doctor." "When I grow up I want to be a baseball player!" As parents we hear these types of proclamations ring out from the mouths of children on a daily basis. It is rare though that a person actually fulfills their childhood dream. I do know one man who not only professed his dream, but is living it everyday. Here is my interview with decorated firefighter Robert Lagnese, a young but seasoned member of the NYC Fire Department. 

In Part I of the interview, we discuss The Job:
TDT: I usually start off with the same question, How many kids do you have
RL: I have 2 boys ages 2 and 4.

TDTWhat do your kids think of their dad being a firefighter?
RLSince they are both young, they think its cool that dad gets to slide the fire pole and get on a firetruck for work. I don't think it gets deeper than that at their age. However, those are the coolest parts of my job.

TDTWhy did you become a NYC firefighter? What is the family background?
RLI wanted to become a firefighter from as early as I can remember. Most of my friends growing up all became firefighters or cops. I am the first in my family to become a firefighter as a career. Many people are involved in the volunteer Fire Departments throughout Long Island. That's where Robert got his first taste of the dedication needed to be a firefighter.

TDT: Did your approach or drive in regards to your profession as a firefighter change once your kids were born?
RLMy approach towards my job had taken on a more professional demeanor than before my kids were born. It has become more important to think of the future of my career and how it will effect the lives of my children. They also made me realize how fortunate I am to have a job that allows me to spend as much time as I do with them. When not on shift, its nice being one of only 3 dads at the park during the day (the other dads include another fireman, and a cop).

TDTWhat are the biggest rewards? Struggles?
RLThe biggest rewards comes when we are able to help people in real need of assistance. Help can be in the form of a safety issue such as correcting a leaky gas stove or something more urgent like a medical emergency. When people are in dire need because of a fire or severe accident is when the work of firefighter is truly tested and rewarded. Biggest struggles are mostly financial. 

Robert also wants to let you know about a little girl that needs our help. She was diagnosed with eye cancer at about 18 months old. She has already lost one eye and is going through chemo at Sloan Kettering. Robert is not sure about how the medical bills are being covered, but he knows the family has had other bills having to do with not working due to hospital stays and such. You can read more about it at

Part II tomorrow where we discuss down time and the future.

Pictures by Joe the Picture Guy at


Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.