FDNY Firefighter Michael V. Kiefer December 5, 1975 – September 11, 2001
Michael arrived into this world on December 5th 1975 to the joy of his parents Pat and Bud. His ultimate goal of being a FDNY firefighter started in the first years of his short but meaningful life. All photos of him taken at occasions such as birthdays and Holidays showed him adorned in the firefighter gear that he would so proudly wear in his early manhood. His dedication to this ultimate goal should be an inspiration to others.
Around the time he was able to skillfully master the use of his bicycle, it became his vehicle to take him to the “red devil in his neighborhood and beyond. With the use of a scanner he intently listened to these callings as other kids his age were listening to rock music. Sometimes, unbeknownst to his parents, these callings took him away from his neighborhood of Franklin Square into areas where he needed a police escort to safely guide him home.
He joined the Franklin Square and Munson junior firefighters organization and quickly rose through the ranks to Chief. Unfortunately for them he had to leave due to, as he put it…”the lack of action”. The Town of Malverne was his next target for as he grew so did his appetite for the action of smoke and flames. He stayed with this company until again his patience wore thin searching for the “red devil”.
By this time Michael had grown into his later teen years and became more intent on his FDNY goal. To that end his body became his temple and the ritual of working out and eating right became his sole focus. His stack of training certificates and awards was now over two inches thick. His dedication to his faith also became another driving force. He proudly attained the role of Eucharistic Minister and weekly attendance at Mass and Holydays were a must. The swimming lessons that his Mom brought him to as a youngster now paid dividends as he sought for and attained employment as a pool lifeguard in the Town of Hempstead. He would later go on to become an ocean lifeguard in Long Beach LI, his “home away from home”.
As with Franklin Square, Malverne gave way to the Freeport Fire Department. An action packed group that was much to his liking. While honing his skills there he learned of a fire cadet program given by John Jay College that, upon graduation, would make him a member of the New City Fire Department with the rank of EMT and allow him to take the promotional exam as firefighter. He quickly joined and passed with 100% on both the written and physical exam. His quest for the “red devil” still never waned. Freeport had succumbed in action to the Hempstead Fire Department. In October of 2000, Michael was now in “Probie” school or as he put it – heaven. The following December he received the best birthday gift he could ever ask for when he attained his diploma and was now officially a FDNY fireman. His dream assignment came through when he was told to report to Engine 280/Ladder 132 in Brooklyn. Life was now “perfect” for Michael. He had found the other love of his life Jamie two years ago and was saving for a ring.
He proudly wore this mantle of FDNY firefighter that he worked his whole life to attain for a short 9 months until that fateful day on September 11, 2001 when God called him home to His firehouse.