NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Updated: Saturday, November 7, 2015, 5:33 PM
Brendan Stackpole with his graduation plaque from FDNY Commissioner Daniel A. Nigro (l.) and Chief of Department James E. Leonard, during the FDNY firefighter graduation at Queens College.
When Brendan Stackpole walks into the Ladder 147/Engine 281 in Brooklyn as a probie Monday morning, he’ll be following in the footsteps of one of his biggest heroes — his father.
Stackpole has dreamed of joining the ranks of New York’s Bravest since he was a child, when he would listen with rapt attention to the stories of his firefighter father.
“It’s where my father started his career,” Stackpole said of the Flatbush firehouse. “There’s a tradition there.”
Stackpole was one of the 295 firefighters sworn in Friday, part of the FDNY’s 150th anniversary class.
The 23-year-old’s decision to join the Fire Department was no surprise to family and friends who know him, or those who knew his father.
Fireman Timothy Stackpole at the 21st Annual Great Irish Fair with his sons (l. to r.) Brian, Terence and Brendan.
Tim Stackpole was a firefighter who became a legend by battling back from the brink of death after rushing into a Brooklyn house fire.
On June 5‚ 1998‚ Stackpole rushed into a 5-alarm inferno that would claim the lives of two of his fellow first responders and seriously injure three others, including him.
Burns covered 30% of his body, but he vowed to return to the job that he loved. He endured months of grueling rehab and surgeries, spent his free time finishing his degree at St. Francis College, and returned to duty.
“He was always a huge influence,” the younger Stackpole said of dad. “He was always about helping other people.”
The proud father of five was promoted to captain on Sept. 10, 2001.
A day later, the 42-year-old was one of the 343 Bravest killed in the World Trade Center attacks.
Thousands of people attended Timothy Stackpole’s funeral, including then Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, who called him “one of the most exceptional human beings I’ve ever met.”
Probationary firefighters Matthew Asaro (l.) and Brendan Stackpole place a wreath at the Sept. 11 Memorial in New York.
The fallen fireman’s son said he had always dreamed of joining the ranks of New York’s Bravest, and being like his father, but his father’s passing on that terrible day solidified his fate.
“It was always something that was going to happen, before 9/11 and after,” Stackpole said. “I just want to make him proud. I want people to say, ‘he’s his father’s son.’”
On Friday, FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro tipped his hat to Stackpole’s father during the department graduation ceremony.
“The respect and admiration of a grateful city has been earned through the blood, sweat, and far too many tears of generations who have come before you,” Nigro told the class. “As of this moment that history and that tradition is in your hands. Cherish it honor it.”
A week before Stackpole graduated from the Fire Academy, along with Matthew Asaro, the son of firefighter Carl Asaro who was also killed on Sept. 11, his class visited the 9/11 Memorial to pay tribute to the fallen.
On Monday, he’ll be on his way to the same firehouse where his father became a hero.