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Surprise hero: Actor Steve Buscemi worked 12-hour shifts to pull people out of 9/11 rubble

Today, on the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, we remember the brave first responders, men and women who rushed to the rescue of those trapped at Ground Zero. Among those heroes is someone you will immediately recognize for his work in well-known films like "Resevoir Dogs," "Fargo," and "The Big Lebowski": actor Steve Buscemi.

Buscemi worked as a FDNY firefighter in downtown Manhattan in the 1980s, before he broke into film acting. On September 11, 2001, he put on his old fire coat and joined the search for survivors. The Independent recounted his 12-hour shifts over several days, working with New York firefighters and first responders.

“It was a privilege to be able to do it," Buscemi said at the time. "It was great to connect with the firehouse I used to work with and with some of the guys I worked alongside. And it was enormously helpful for me because while I was working, I didn’t really think about it as much, feel it as much.”

A 2013 post by the Brotherhood of Fire Facebook page calls attention to Buscemi's service and notes that "very few photographs and no interviews exist because he declined them. He wasn't there for the publicity."

Throughout his life, Buscemi has been an advocate for firefighters and continues to serve on the Board of Advisors for Friends of Firefighters, a support group for firefighters and their families.

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