NBC 4 New York
FDNY Capt. Robert Morris dedicated his last 40 years to protecting New York City and saving lives. Thursday was his last day on the job and he spent it alongside the city's bravest on a call that required all hands. Marc Santia has more.
Retiring FDNY captain Robert Morris worked right down to his last day, putting his life on the line one more time to take down a fire at a buckling Chinatown building filled with families.
"A firefighters's job is to save lives and protect the city," Morris said at the scene of the fire, which injured eight people and left dozens homeless.
On the final day of his 40-year career, Morris was calling the shots one last time. He led Rescue 1, the elite squad sent to the toughest jobs in the city.
After the scene was secured, Morris stepped back on his rig and rode through the streets of Midtown to arrive to a hero's welcome back at the firehouse.
"The people who do the work love it. That's why I've been here for 40 years," said Morris. "You wouldn't do something for that long and not really care for the work."
While he loved fighting fires and working with his team, Morris admitted there were difficult days when sweat mixed with tears.
"Unfortunately, I've been there when firefighters have been seriously injured, and unfortunately some have died. Those are very tough days," he said.
As Morris hung up his jacket and hat one last time, his inspiration lives on in the lives of New York's bravest, those inspired by his passion -- said not with words, but with action right up until the last day of his career.
"Today was a good day... several people injured, several people rescued," he said. "Good day for the fire department. Good day for Rescue 1. And now the day's over, and I gotta move on."