Firefighters aren’t in it for the recognition. But a select few become well known and universally respected — in firefighter circles and beyond.
Warren Forsyth is one of those few.
He’s a third generation New York City firefighter, who passed the tradition on to a fourth generation. He served the city for 20 years, the majority of which he spent with the prestigious Rescue Company 1 in Midtown Manhattan.
Along the way, he earned 13 citations for bravery in the line of duty.
He responded to attacks on the World Trade Center in 1993 and 2001. Injuries sustained on 9/11 ultimately led to his retirement, but he hasn’t stopped serving others. He founded Gift of Life Family Transport, providing free transportation to families of New York City organ donors, as well as firefighters undergoing medical treatment. He also runs a firefighter training facility in Alabama.
Warren Forsyth is a man who has earned our respect and admiration. So we were thrilled to learn that he’s a fan of Fire Dept. Coffee. We were even more excited that he agreed to do a Q&A with us to tell us more about his incredible career.
How long were you with FDNY?
I was in the FDNY for 20 years.
What did you love most about the job?
Going to fires. I was a fireman. ... I loved going to fires. Each one was a new adventure.
Where did you spend most of your career?
At Rescue 1 in Manhattan for about 15 years.
Did you have any individual certifications or awards?
We were certified as scuba divers, high angle rescuers, collapse specialists, confined space specialists, extrication (car crashes), hazmat, and CFRD certified, and a few other ones.
I had 13 meritorious acts in my career.
What was the documentary you were featured in?
I was in the “Firehouse” documentary in the early ’90s. They went to Rescue 1. John Walsh narrated it.
What’s your family’s history in the fire department?
I was a third-generation fireman — maternal grandfather, father, 3 brothers and now my son.
Did you drink much coffee while on shift?
Yeah, we were up all day and all night. All we would do is drink coffee. Gotta stay awake.
What makes a good crew?
Everybody’s gotta be on the same page. Everyone has to know what we’re all doing together as a group.
Why did you decide to work for FDNY?
It was a great job … with great benefits.
We are so grateful to Warren for taking the time to answer our questions and to share a little piece of his story. And we couldn’t agree more … It is a great job.
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