The Book
The Author
The Last Men Out
  The Last Men Out
Life on the Edge At Rescue 2 Firehouse

The Last Men Out   "Tom Downey had arrived on the scene of the lives of firefighters long before the rest of the world caught up, and he has written the inside story of this secret fraternity, this band of brothers. These workingmen heroes step off these pages and into our lives. A masterful job of storytelling."
--Doug Stanton, author of In Harm's Way

"Heroes among heroes, we follow these stalwart men in Tom Downey's fine account from fires, to funerals, to loving homes, and to the endless banter and hilarity of the firehouse kitchen. This is a book about good men in stories well told, from tragic neighborhood fires to the national tragedy of Ground Zero. Downey recounts the story with the keen eye of an author who has the blood of firefighters pulsing through his veins. You can feel the drama on every page." --Dennis Smith, author of Report from Engine Company 82

"The Last Men Out tells of the heroism and selflessness that comes as part of a firefighter's everyday life, and the laughs and tales paint a picture of the camaraderie inside any good firehouse." --Rudolph W. Giuliani

The inside story...

New York's rescue companies are elite firefighters with a mission: to save fellow firefighters or civilians who are trapped in blazes or endangered by urban disasters. In this riveting narrative, Tom Downey goes inside Brooklyn's Rescue 2, where for thirty years an obsessed, obstreperous group of pros have built a reputation as one of the best and busiest rescue companies in the world. The Last Men Out captures five years of Rescue 2's adrenaline-charged adventures, along with the spirit, combativeness, and humor of a firehouse dubbed "the Cuisinart" for its way of slicing up new recruits.

We begin in the mid nineties, when Rescue 2 loses its first man in a fire since the fifties. A new captain, Phil Ruvolo, arrives at the firehouse and, from the moment he steps in the door, is faced with stubborn vets loyal to former leader Ray Downey, aka God. Yet gradually Ruvolo and his second, Bob Galione--master storyteller at the kitchen table--prove they won't lose what Downey and others have built. As a new generation joins the ranks, Ruvolo and his men take some hits, earn their stripes, and bond at jobs all over the city--from the Atlantic Avenue Fire where they save a terrified probie to a Father's Day disaster that unites them.

Then, suddenly, comes the devastation of 9/11. Ruvolo must assume command as never before, uniting the survivors in the face of this crisis, which threatens the future of their firehouse and all New York rescue operations. In the face of unimaginable loss, Ruvolo and his men struggle to rebuild a company that will once again be able to protect its city.

Rescue 2 doesn't leave a fire until everybody's safe--they're the last men out. Tom Downey shows us their world, from the smell of their coats after a fire to the hardened eyes of a veteran who has lost a friend. His firemen are an unforgettable group of gritty, larger-than-life personalities, and his book is destined to become a classic of its kind.

Continue with an excerpt from "The Last Men Out"

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