Writer's Digest Magazine has announced the winners of the 17th Annual International Self-Published Book Awards Contest in its March/April 2010 issue. Fireman, a compelling new memoir by New York author George Kreuscher, has won First Place for nonfiction. It was chosen from amongst 2,600 entries.
The Writer's Digest judge found Fireman to be: "Interesting, fascinating and heartbreaking look inside fire departments and Ground Zero right from learning about Buckeye whistles on pages x and xii to the end."
For example, the Vibra-Alert alarms of the "fallen firefighters, hundreds of them, all at once" (page 18) at Ground Zero–those of us who watched the horror of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center, grasped the obvious trauma and loss of the firefighters who lost their lives. This is just one way that Kreuscher brings home the sounds, the smells and the sights of that day and truly helps the reader embody the loss of the firefighters. I teared up at his descriptions of the bagpiper who played himself almost to the breaking point so that no funeral or memorial service would go without a piper or the relief with which the local firefighters greeted reinforcements from California who couldn't help fight the fire but they could help honor the fallen at the funerals.
Even amidst the nobility of a profession that dedicates itself to saving others, of course there are times that are more light hearted, such as the papal visit (capped off by the Pope's valet and physician carrying the bags down the stairs)."
Told with humor and poignancy, Fireman, brings us face to face with the grave dangers and actions faced by all firefighters.
Fireman was also a First Place Winner in the Biography/Memoir category at the New York Book Festival in 2008.
George Kreuscher served 31 years in the FDNY as a firefighter and officer. He was one of the original FDNY divers. Lieutenant Kreuscher taught auto extrication and the use of rescue tools at the Fire Academy where he was also an instructor for probationary firefighters. He was part of the "Collapse of Buildings" program, which would eventually become the Rescue School of the FDNY.
Fireman ($22.95, hard cover, 212 pages, ISBN-13: 978-0-979917-0-9)