On the Job With Yonkers' Hero Firefighter

By Shiba Russell
|  Wednesday, Mar 16, 2011  |  Updated 8:56 AM EDT
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Days after he rescued two workers dangling from a Yonkers high-rise, Firefighter Mike Giroux took NBCNewYork on the job and and showed off the bi-weekly technical rescue training firefighters depend on to pull off a dramatic rescue.

“About five feet left … okay, stop, stop,” said Giroux as he rappelled four stories down Yonkers’ Fire headquarters building.

Giroux calls fire headquarters a “baby building” compared to the Yonkers high-rise on Nepperhan Avenue. He rappelled 27 stories from the building's roof on Friday to reach the pair of workers left dangling 13 stories from the ground after their scaffolding broke. 

“When you look at the TV video that window looks a lot closer to that ledge. It was actually set back …10 feet over,” said Giroux.

Giroux, a 10-year member of the Yonkers fire department, also had to battle the heavy winds.
 
“Right when you go over the building it gets pretty breezy up there, especially at that height,” said Giroux.
 
Before firefighters rappel any building they must attach two lines to the harness; all their weight goes on the blue line, the red is the backup.  
 
“If I didn't have another line on me and the blue line failed I'd be plummeting down to the ground, “ said Giroux.

Rope rescues are all in a day’s work for the hero firefighter. Giroux now hopes he can reunite with the guys he saved.

“Obviously you don't give them a handshake. Something like this you give them a hug, because when you go through something like this a handshake doesn't do it,” said Giroux.  

“They did an awesome job. We've been training for this," said Yonkers Fire Chief William Fitzpatrick.  "Most guys train their entire career and to have something like this happen and it actually pays off is huge.

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