3 new FDNY graduates following in fallen fathers' footsteps

NEW YORK (WABC) -- It was graduation day for the FDNY on Wednesday and three new firefighters are children of firefighters who died in the line of duty.

Firefighting is in Jonathon Otten's blood.

"My father came from a line of firemen as well, it's a big family job," Otten said.

He was only 8 years old when his dad went on his final call on 9/11. Michael Otten was one of the 343 FDNY members who died in the attacks.

"Just to follow in his footsteps and be half the man he used to be, that's definitely what I want to live up to," Otten said.

"Everything I do is for my dad hoping that he's proud of everything I've done," said probationary firefighter Gary Watson.

Watson's dad Kenneth also died on 9/11, leaving behind a legacy of service and inspiring Gary to follow in his footsteps.

"Thank God I have my mom, she's my second hero, she's done everything for me and my brothers and sister," Watson said.

"I'm so proud of him but at same time I wish his father was here to see it, so it's bittersweet, I know he's going to do great, he's worked hard," his mom Susan Watson said.

Andrew Gorumba was only 2 years old when his father died on duty at a fire on Staten Island.

"He inspired me to become a firefighter, when I was 2 he passed away, my mom and whole family telling stories growing up, I was always around the firehouse and it inspired me to be a firefighter," Gorumba said.

"I actually have a picture of him when he was about 3 and he was fireman and he looked perfect yellow and black, I knew he was gonna be a fireman," his mom Lori Gargiso said.

After more than 18 weeks of intense training, now their real journey begins.

"Their service honors loss and legacy of their fathers and we're all very proud," said FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro.

As part of the probationary firefighter class of 2021, they are creating a new generation of New York's Bravest.

ALSO READ | Equity Report: Racial gaps in health insurance in New York City
EMBED More News Videos

COVID-19 doesn't discriminate against who gets sick, but some some groups have been hit harder. And they're the most likely not to have insurance.

* Get Eyewitness News Delivered
* More New York City news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
* Follow us on YouTube
Submit a News Tip
Copyright © 2021 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.