FDNY Calendar of Heroes firefighters welcome first woman, raise funds in Times Square
No one even needed to sound the alarm.
When 13 FDNY firefighters-turned-models arrived in Times Square Tuesday afternoon, New Yorkers and tourists alike were ready and waiting for a meet-and-greet to celebrate the 2015 Calendar of Heroes line-up.
And although they wouldn't be facing any flames that day, some of New York's Bravest came in feeling a bit less brave than usual.
"It was a little nerve-wracking," Lt. Dellon Morgan of Ladder Co. 103 in East New York said. "I'd rather go to a fire than bare my chest."
But earning a spot on the calendar, a strictly male FDNY honor since 1865, was especially intimidating for Danae Mines of Engine Co. 60 in the Bronx-- the first woman ever featured.
"I was very nervous that I was the only woman there," Mines said of try-out day, "but the guys made me feel comfortable."
Mines, who is one of just 41 females in the department, said she hopes her picture-- placed in March for Women's History Month-- will inspire other women to join in the profession.
"It shows another face of the fire department. We do have women on the job," "Mr. June" John Basquez of Engine Co. 324 in Corona said. "I think it's great."
And while Basquez was there to support the cause (all proceeds from calendars sold go to the FDNY Foundation to fund fire safety), some in line had another motive.
"The muscles!" Bernardita Acevedo of Chile squealed after snapping a photo with "Mr. October" Ralph Cicarrelli. "They're way perfect."
Asked who was single, a couple of the firefighters raised their hands. But Tommy Herrick of Engine Co. 24 in lower Manhattan said they weren't in it to find love.
"You're in the calendar now," he said. "Why would you want a girlfriend?"
The official FDNY 2015 Calendar of Heroes is now on sale for $15.95 at FDNYFoundation.org and at the FDNY Fire Zone Store at 34 W. 51st St. in Manhattan.