Last Man Down

Last Man Down : The Fireman's Story - The Heroic Account of How Pitch Picciotto Survived the Collapse of the Twin Towers and Lead His Men to Safety

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On September 11th, leading seven companies of firefighters up the B stairway to Tower 1 of the World Trade Centre, Battalion Commander Richard 'Pitch' Picciotto was the highest ranking fire department commander in the twin towers when Tower 2 fell. Pitch and his men were on the 17th floor racing upward when the world seemed to explode around them. Out of radio communication with the command center and with no time to reflect Pitch ordered the evacuation of Tower 1. Firefighters under his command staged an orderly retreat until word came that the stairwell was blocked with debris. From his intimate knowledge of the Towers gained during service after the 1993 WTC bombing Pitch was able to lead the firefighters to an alternate stairwell, and the descent continued. After eight minutes when they reached floor 12 Pitch was met with a horrifying sight -- more than 50 civilians sitting mutely at disks seemed immobilised in his flashlight's glare. When he ordered them out, out, OUT! wheelchairs began to roll toward the door; these were the workers too crippled, too old, or too weak to have made their way out on their own.
Pitch ordered his firefighters to stop and form a human bucket brigade to thrust the civilians out of the building, and the blue uniforms instantly lined the sides of the stairwell. Fourteen minutes had elapsed since the collapse of Tower 2. Pushing and cajoling them down and out Pitch was in the 7th floor stairwell when a sound of thunder was heard from above. It took eight seconds for Tower 1 to fall, accordioning into a mound of burning rubble most have likened to hell. Pitch and a handful of survivors woke to find themselves buried on the landing of floor 2, in an inky cavity broken by the screams of hurt men. This is the story of how they made it out, and how Pitch Picciotto, the highest-ranking firefighter survived the collapse of the twin towers and led his men to safety.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 224 pages
  • 153 x 234 x 19mm | 380g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 30
  • 0752852663
  • 9780752852669

About Richard Picciotto

A former New York City police officer, Chief Picciotto had been a Fire marshal, an arson investigator, a lieutenant and a captain, prior to becoming chief in 1992.He holds a B.B.A. degree and has been the recipient of departmental awards and commendations for bravery and meritorious service Picciotto lives in Port Chester, New York with his wife Debbie and his son Stephen.
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