2 men following in fathers' footsteps as they become FDNY firefighters

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ByLucy Yang via WABC logo
Tuesday, May 3, 2016
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Lucy Yang has the story of two firefighters following in the footsteps of their fathers at the FDNY.

NEW YORK (WABC) -- New York's Bravest just graduated 310 new firefighters on Tuesday.

Among them are two young men who know the perils of the job all too well.

"I want to say, I love you and hope you're proud," said Thomas Palombo, FDNY.

Palombo's father Frank was a firefighter, a hero who died on 9/11. That did not scare young Tommy from following in his father's footsteps.

"I saw all the brotherhood from 9/11, all the firefighters always helping us. It was great, meant a lot to me to join the brotherhood," Palombo said.

Harry Ford lost his dad Harry Sr. at a fire explosion 15 years ago on Father's Day. Harry Jr. said this was a lifelong dream come true.

"No fear, just want to get in there and help people out," Ford said.

This graduating class is also known for the diversity that they bring to the department.

"It's a picture of New York," said Commissioner Daniel Nigro, FDNY. "We live in a diverse city. Now we have a diverse department."

40% of the class is firefighters of color and three are women

"Ever since a firefighter came to my Pre-K classroom I've always wanted to be one," said Lauren Plagainos, FDNY.

"Anyone try to dissuade you?" Eyewitness News asked.

"No. Everyone said I could do it and I proved them right today," Plagainos said.

"You don't think about the danger. They teach you to have courage," said Wendy Tapia, FDNY.

"I'm grateful I got to the 18 weeks, I worked hard," said Clara Lyde, FDNY.

They are the faces of the Bravest who will be keeping New York City safe.