"Doing it the right way, just like my dad." For the son of a decorated firefighter, this was the main focus in life as he followed a path his father had laid before him.
Yet so many more nuggets of life come alive in Five Alarm, the latest juvenile contribution by author Pete Birle. In his most personal, quintessential fashion, Mr. Birle captures the flavors of New York City, incorporating all five boroughs in this fictional account as the FDNY reorganizes and begins a fresh chapter in this new, complex millennium. From the first-hand, wide-eyed account of a youngster witnessing the heroics during a residential fire to the redemption of personal conviction, Five Alarm is a de facto training manual for all Americans who wish to satisfy the call to duty as a firefighter.
Before the FDNY Strategic Plan was revised in 2015, the core values of service, bravery, safety, honor, dedication and preparedness were the foundation to the organization. "Times have changed," as Mr. Birle conveys in Five Alarm, and equity within the "brotherhood" of the FDNY serves as a theme in this reading selection for middle-schoolers. And during the creation of this fictional account, the FDNY has simultaneously added equity to its core values: service, bravery, safety, honor, dedication, equity, preparedness.
So, take a ride with Ariston Hermano - a second generation New York City firefighter - first as a child upon a rig from Rescue 5 out of Brooklyn, then as a Probationary Firefighter at Randall's Island, and finally as a member of Engine 88/Ladder 38 in the Bronx.
Fiction. 143 pages.
Reading Level: Middle School
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