My firehouse.

For months, Koala and I have been discussing our plans for New York. For months, he’s been obsessed with firetrucks, firemen, סמי הכבאי and hoses. And for months, the top of the list was visiting a firehouse.

And I’ll freely admit, I was as, if not more, excited about this.

Firemen were always curious characters to me. When I worked at the Staten Island paper during my college years, I had a co-intern who discussed, and later became, a fireman.

Then September 11, 2001, happened. And I was working at that paper. And suddenly, firemen were everywhere. Even the ones who had died. And the heroes became super heroes to me. There’s a special place in my heart for the FDNY.

So we stopped on the side of Engine Company 166 in Staten Island, where Fireman Tom kindly (and really enthusiastically) showed us around, even as Koala was a bit… intimidated… after months of building up the occasion. And truth be told, I think it made me even happier.

Thank you, 166!

Little boy’s heaven.

Yup, this is the truck he meant.

Everything seems to be working.

Inspecting the goods.

An offer to change places.