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James Backer - 23 year Firefighter

Baldwin Fire Department, Baldwin, NY

Rotterdam Junction FD, Rotterdam Junction, NY

Captain of Rotterdam Junction FD since 2006

9/11Rescue worker

Jimmy wanted to be a firefighter ever since he was a kid. His godfather was a fireman and the mechanic for the Baldwin Fire Dept. for almost his entire firefighting career - spanning over 75 years. He looked up to him so much as did many others. By day Jimmy is a mechanic for the NYS police Troop G, he is the father of our two beautiful daughters, we have been married for 16 years now, and although he is 48 and I am 43 we still love each other like when we started dating 21 years ago in our early 20s! When 9/11 happened Jimmy was in EMT school and I knew he would say “I have to go”. And he did just that, I never cried, pleaded, begged so much for him not to go into a rescue situation as I did that morning. Seeing the towers burning from my house, the news etc. I knew this was beyond dangerous and yet in my heart knew he would never stay here, that's who he is. When the flood happened in our town during hurricane Irene he boated out some 300 people working day and night to make sure people were safe and got them to the firehouse where we helped get them food, water and shelter. When people are hurt, need help, rescuing, or just a hand with something he is the most selfless man I know. He has been awarded firefighter of year a few times, such an honor! He is well respected in our town, he is a wonderful husband and an amazing father.

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