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Last man down; a firefighter's story of survival and escape from the World Trade Center. (Current Topics).

PICCIOTTO, Richard, with Daniel Paisner. Last man down; a firefighter's story of survival and escape from the World Trade Center. Berkley. 243p. c2002. 0-425-18988-0. $7.99.


Chief Picciotto tells his story with the same hard-hitting fervor he displayed when he performed his job as FDNY Chief of Battalion 11. On September 11, 2001, Picciotto and his men entered the North Tower of the World Trade Center and, like hundreds of other firefighters and rescue workers, worked at evacuating people caught in the building, displaying the same courage as they did every day in their jobs. As so meone who had helped with the original 1993 WTC bombing, Picciotto was especially knowledgeable about the situation but was as uncomprehending of the full extent of the disaster as the rest of the world, although he was at the very center of it, His minute-by-minute account of rescue efforts and especially of the time he and 12 others, including one "Brooklyn grandmother," spent trapped in a staircase after the collapse of the building, is told with calm professionalism and utter honesty. Picciotto is never "politically correct"-he is as clear about the shortcomings of his department and the decisions that have cobbled the firefighters with old equipment and morale-eroding cost-cutting efforts as he is about the courage of his fellow workers. His voice is true, the writing gripping and the firefighters' commitment to their mission unflagging. He and his collaborator write a firsthand account that is unforgettable and unique among all the stories of September 11, 2001. Nola Theiss, Sanibel, FL
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Author:Theiss, Nola
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 2003
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