This legendary tale introduces young readers to Molly Williams, an
African American cook for New York City’s Fire Company 11, who is
considered to be the first known female firefighter in U.S. history. One
winter day in 1818, when many of the firefighting volunteers are sick
with influenza and a small wooden house is ablaze, Molly jumps into
action and helps stop the blaze, proudly earning the nickname Volunteer
Number 11. Relying on historic records and pictures and working closely
with firefighting experts, Dianne Ochiltree and artist Kathleen Kemly
not only bring this spunky and little-known heroine to life but also
show how fires were fought in early America.
Just an idea, but Ladybug and Chat Noir participating in those fundraising games where it’s the fire department versus the police squad? XD I put Ladybug on team firefighter and Chat Noir on team Police. What do you guys think?
Hisham Tawfiq may just be making a name for himself in Hollywood, but
in his home neighborhood of Harlem, New York, he’s better known as the
FDNY station chief of the local station for the past 20 years. Now, just
as he’s been promoted to series regular on The Blacklist, he’s
prepping to retire from his firefighting career come fall. He talks to
EW about a career of battling blazes, and what’s coming up next.
“I still love it and enjoy driving a
firetruck, especially up in Harlem and seeing people I know, getting
little kids to jump on it,” Tawfiq says about his impending retirement. “That’s
why its so hard to retire, because I still enjoy working and especially
serving the community of Harlem where I grew up. It’s a very hard thing
to let go.”
Tawfiq didn’t always grow up imagining he’d be a fireman. In fact, he
says there are about 10,000 firefighters in New York, and only two
percent of them are African-American.
“It was very interesting, trying to figure out why that number is so
low,” he says. “My whole career has been about diversity and inclusion
and trying to get more people of color in the FDNY and especially in my
home village of Harlem. I’ve always wanted to guide them to the job,
because it’s been such a great job for me.”
But how did he get into the field in the first place?
“The only reason I joined was
because I came home from being in the Marines and saw a postcard about
joining the FDNY sitting on the table,” he says. “So I filled it out,
and that started my journey,” he says.
The New York native, who was a professional jazz and West African
dancer after high school (where he was also a star running back on the
football team) says his training with the marines made joining the FDNY
“I don’t want to say the training wasn’t challenging, but I had no
problem with it,” he says. “I was a boy scout too, so I knew all this
stuff — I actually became a squad leader in charge of my own platoon
because it just fit naturally.”
And once he put on the actual firefighting gear?
“It was almost like hitting the
lotto,” he says. “I felt like superman getting into all the gear and
going into fires and getting dirty and being smoky. It was extremely
exciting for me, and gave me that rush that I think I live for.”
1. The “Momo” and “Uzeir” twin towers burn on Sniper Alley in downtown Sarajevo during the Serbian shelling of the Bosnian capital on June 08, 1992, in the first months of the Bosnian Genocide. (Photographer: Georges Gobet)
2. In a repeat attack on the Markale market, Serbs killed 68 Bosniak civilians and wounded 144 on February 5, 1994 (Photographer: Georges Gobet)
3. Seven-year-old Bosniak child, Nermin Divovic, lies mortally wounded in a pool of blood as unidentified American and British U.N. firefighters arrive to assist after he was shot in the head by Serbian snipers in Sarajevo Friday, November 18, 1994. The U.N. firefighters were at his side almost immediately, but the boy died outright. Serbs terrorized Sarajevo civilians and killed at least 1500 children in the besieged Bosnian capital. (Photographer: Enric Marti)
4. Smoke and flames rise from houses set on fire by attacking Serb forces in the village of Ljuta on Sarajevo’s Mount Igman on July 22, 1993. (Reuters Photo)
5. A gravedigger in the besieged Sarajevo buries the bodies of Bosniak civilians in a Muslim cemetery on January 28, 1993. During the siege of Sarajevo, Serbs killed 10,000 residents, including more than 1500 children, in one of the worst episodes of the Bosnian Genocide. (Photographer: Antoine Gyori)