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son of fallen hyde park firefighter graduates from FDNY
BY NICOLE DELAWDER • ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED 2/15/17
Hyde Park native Aric Tegtmeier was just six-years-old when his father Paul was killed on September 11, 2001. A few days after the attacks on the Twin Towers, Aric pulled on his firefighting helmet, coat and boots and fought invisible fires on the front lawn of his home with firefighters who came to mourn the loss of his dad.
Paul Tegtmeier, a volunteer with the Roosevelt Fire Department in Hyde Park for over 20 years, finally got the call to become a New York City firefighter at the age of 40. He quit his job as a field technician at Verizon and joined Ladder Company 46 in the Bronx.
"He met the age cutoff, from the time that he applied," said Paul’s wife, Catherine. "His was the last class taken off that list. Firefighting was something he wanted to do since he was a toddler and he only wanted to do it in New York City."
Sixteen years later, Aric, now 22, is further following in his father’s footsteps. On February 8, Tegtmeier, who lives in Salt Point with his mother, graduated from the New York City Fire Department Emergency Medical Services Academy. He has been assigned to Station 27 in Woodlawn, also in the Bronx. Several members of his father’s company were present during last week’s ceremony.
“It has always been my childhood dream to be here today and to have the chance to follow in the footsteps of my father,” Aric said. “I am carrying on the legacy he set and he left big shoes to fill. I look forward to providing the best care I can to the people of this great city and advancing my training and skill set with all that the FDNY has to offer. This is the best department in the world. I’m proud to be here with all the members whom I consider my family.”