Tuesday, August 26, 2014

One Head, Many Hats

A firehouse runs on its stomach.  Firefighting is tough business.  The men and women of the FDNY not only work together, they live together.  And that means - of course - that they eat meals together. 

In such an organization, food is important.  No one joins the FDNY to get rich.  There is not therefore a lot of "extra money" laying around.  The goal is twofold:  waste zero dollars and make every dollar stretch as far as it can.  

There are any number of talented cooks in the firehouses of the five boroughs.  Necessity demands it.  There are - however - not a lot of members of the FDNY who are accomplished chefs.  

Daniel Libretti was the exception that proved the rule.   FF Libretti, 43 years old when he was killed in the line of duty at the World Trade Center on Tuesday, September 11, 2001, was a member of one of the FDNY's elite Rescue Units, Rescue 2 of Brooklyn.  However, when he was not doing his firefighting thing as a member of Rescue 2 he was working as the Assistant Pastry Chef at La Caravelle, which was an upscale French restaurant in Manhattan.  For good measure, FF Libretti also worked as an independent contractor in his spare time. 

FF Libretti spent nineteen years in the FDNY.  He had been part of Rescue 2 since 1999.  Prior to that he had been a member of Ladder 103 in East New York, Brooklyn.  The first fifteen years of his career he had spent as part of Ladder 1 / Engine 7 in Manhattan. 

FF Libretti was survived by his wife, Dolores, his father, Frank, his two brothers (Frank and Joseph), and a sister, Maureen Gambino.  

-AK 

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