Derby firefighters talk about the dangers of the job and what drives them to do it

New Haven

DERBY, Conn. (WTNH) — It was not business as usual at Storm Engine Company No. 2 in Derby. One day after the tragedy in New Haven that cost the life of fallen firefighter Ricardo Torres, who ran into a burning building, saving the lives of two people.

It would be his final heroic act.

Firefighters in Derby shared with New s8 what drives firefighters to do what most people would not — run towards danger?

“Somebody has to answer the call when somebody needs help,” said Capt. Alex Newendorf, of Storm Engine Company.

And, at least at Storm Engine Company, the passion they have to help others is in their DNA — literally.

“I think for a lot of us it’s just trying to be like your father,” said Lt. Buddy Canty. “Most of the guys here — their fathers, and grandfathers and great grandfathers were all firemen.”

Several of the firefighters in Derby were listening to the transmission call of the fire in New Haven as it was happening. They’re concern growing at certain points.

“Hearing the firefighter saying he was lost, disoriented, and not able to find his way out,” Capt. Newendorf said.

“When the transmission came over that they were doing CPR,” said Lt. Canty.

They also say firefighters are not heroes — just men and women who sign up to do the job of helping people. But, it’s clear to many people they are considered heroes.

Especially firefighters like Ricardo Torres, who sacrifice their own lives to get others out of harm’s way. The guys at Storm Engine Company say they will be there for his funeral service once arrangements are set. They want to pay their respects to him, his family, and his family of firefighters in New Haven.

“We’re all in this together,” said Derby firefighter Sean McGuire. “Whatever they need just reach out to us.”

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