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The story of firefighting in New York City is one of danger, tradition, pride, excitement, and tragedy. It is also the story of man's triumph over destructive forces. From the gaslight days of horse-drawn steam engines to the World Trade Center tragedy of 2001, the heroic men and women who make up the city's most dynamic public service have risked and often lost their lives in order to protect and serve the people of New York City.

New York City Firefighting: 1901-2001 chronicles the proudest fire department in America. The proximity of buildings in the city streets and the construction materials made each fire especially dangerous, but determined firefighters never hesitated to battle the flames and rescue the victims. Later, facing unprecedented heights and unparalleled danger, firefighters in New York City were called upon to battle infernos in the first skyscrapers, often using the most rudimentary equipment and barely protected from the flames. In its most trying moments, the Fire Department of New York responded to the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center in 1993 and 2001, dutifully rushing into the towers to save as many lives as possible and ultimately losing hundreds of their own.

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