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We begin in the mid-nineties, when Rescue 2 loses its first man in a fire since the fifties. Not long after, a new captain, Phil Ruvolo, arrives at the firehouse and, from the moment he steps in the door, is faced with stubborn vets loyal to former leader Ray Downey, aka God. Yet gradually Ruvolo and his second, Bob Galione -- master storyteller at the kitchen table -- prove they won't lose what Downey and others have built. As a new generation joins the ranks, Ruvolo and his men take some hits, earn their stripes, and bond at jobs all over the city -- from the Atlantic Avenue Fire where they save a terrified probie to a Father's Day disaster that unites them.
Then, suddenly, comes the devastation of 9/11. Ruvolo must assume command as never before, uniting the survivors in the face of this crisis, which threatens the future of their firehouse and all New York rescue operations. In the face of unimaginable loss, Ruvolo and his men struggle to rebuild a company that will once again be able to protect its city.
Rescue 2 doesn't leave a fire until everybody's safe -- they're the last men out. Tom Downey shows us their world, from the smell of their coats after a fire to the hardened eyes of a veteran who has lost a friend. His firemen are an unforgettable group of gritty, larger-than-life personalities, and his book is destined to become a classic of its kind.
"Tom Downey had arrived on the scene of the lives of firefighters long before the rest of the world caught up and he has written the inside story of this secret fraternity, this band of brothers. These working-men heros step off of these pages and into our lives. Downey has done a masterful job of storytelling." —Doug Stanton, author of In Harm's Way
From The Last Men Out:
Small pockets of fire tease the engine company men who spray the ceilings and walls trying to shake down the flames. Terry hears an engine guy ask Louis to hug the wall so they can bend the stiff hose around the corner.
Suddenly, Terry hears a snap, like a wooden plank being split with an ax, then a much louder cracking noise that makes him shudder. He dives to the ground as the roof and walls crumble around him. Firemen cry out and Maydays go out over the radio. But nobody can hear the calls. They’re all buried.
Terry’s first thought is to get air. As he hears the men around him burrowing to the surface, he claws his way toward the sunlight. He feels cold snow on his glove as he heaves his body up out of the rubble.
Most of the firemen around Terry have also been lucky. But when Terry starts to wade through the debris, a piece of shiny black rubber catches his eye. Two boots sticking out of the rubble. He gets on the radio.
“Rescue Chauffeur to Battalion. Mayday. We have a man trapped about ten feet from the rear door.”
|2||The New Captain||36|
Posted February 18, 2013
In the book The Last Men Out the courageous men of the New York City Fire Department talk about their heroic stories leading up to the 9/11 attack. Brooklyn's Rescue 2 is monitored for 5 years with adrenaline-charged adventures and the spirit of a few brave men. The team hasn’t lost a man since the 50’s but not until 90’s in an inferno. The men earn there stripes and badges but then the 9/11 attacks hit and the chief has to be in charge of something he could never imagine. The message the author Tom Downey is trying to get across is NO one gets left behind no matter the consequences even in the toughest of situations. I agree with the inspiring motive of the author who was the nephew of the heroic fire chief who perished in the World Trade Centers on 9/11 with the many other brave souls. I disagree with all the stories and how the book changes gears and then leading up to the grand finale instead of keeping it one great and bold story. I highly recommend this book to someone who loves or inspires to be a firefighter or someone who lost a loved one in the 9/11 terrorist attack to learn about the heros trying to save everyone they could on a moments notice. I think this book would go along great with Firehouse. Always remember we don’t leave back to the station until every last man is out.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 2, 2010
Great read from the inside of the fire house. I got to know the characters completely. This book will take you inside some amazing fires and situations. There are fantastic saves and incredible losses. A great book for any fire fighter!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 12, 2007
Tom Downey has written, in my opinion, the best book on firefighting since Dennis Smith's classic 'Report From Engine Company 82'. The book reveals the inner world of firefighting and firehouse life. The men we meet in this book are not heroes- just ordinary men doing extraordinary things. Downey's in depth descriptions of the Rescue 2 members is right on. You will get to know them as if you are sitting in the firehouse kitchen or crawling down a smoky hallway beside them.The sad part of the book is that alot of the men featured perished on 9/11- men that can never be replaced. Downey has produced an honest and unvarnished look into Rescue 2. The book should be a must read for anyone interested in firefighting.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted October 6, 2006
The Last Men Out The Last Men Out by Tom Downey is about The FDNY¿s Rescue 2 company and all the big alarm fires and rescues they made. After the first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center, the FDNY started preparing for another attack and thought it would be chemical. When the World Trade Centers were hit again the FDNY was not fully prepared for the this type of large-scale event and lost most of the head chiefs were caught in the collapse. The main messages in this book are leadership because the officer was always taking the lead, teamwork because all the firefighters worked their hardest together to make sure everything went right. My likes in this book were that there were a lot of fires through out the entire book and each fire was different in there own ways. My dislikes about this book were that it did not have any medical calls or miscellaneous calls that every fire department responds to. Even though all fires are fun to here about it is still fun to here about different calls. Everyone should read this book because what happened on September 11, 2001 is a part of American History. Also, anyone who is considering a career as a firefighter or already a firefighter because this book is all firefighting. However anyone who does not like reading about trauma should not read this book because some of the things in this book were hard to read and imagine. One other recommended works would be 3000 Degrees by Sean Flynn. If I had to give this a rating between 1 - 10, 10 being the highest, I would give this book a 9 and 1/2 because it is a book all about firefighting.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 27, 2006
Unlike the first two reviewers, I have nothing to do with firefighting - therefore, maybe a caveat is in order. But I loved the book. I thought it brought you into the 'hermetically sealed' environment of a firehouse and gave me a new respect for what they do everyday. I'm going to read the other fellas' recommendations.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 28, 2005
Tom Downey captures the life of Firefighters in his writing the way Steve Spak captures it in his photography and videography, and Dennis Smith does in his writing. As a 28 year veteran of the Fire/Rescue service I feel Tom has a great work here, and in his video tribute 'Still Riding:The Rescue Companies of New York'Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 5, 2004
The Last Men Out by Tom Downey was a really good book none the less however it contained many lies and overlooks about Rescue Company 2. Rescue 2 had great respect from every firefighter and civilian that knew about them. This book takes that respect and humillity and totally destroys it. I really enjoyed reading it but was disapointed with some of the lies that it contained.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted November 25, 2009
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Posted January 13, 2010
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Posted December 17, 2009
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