Michael Montesi loved being a firefighter‚ and was extremely proud to be a member of the elite Rescue Company 1. He was always pondering the issues that the unit faced. He created a small air pack that could be strapped onto a trapped person’s face. The packs are still carried in the Rescue 1 Truck.
He was the Daily News Hero of the Month in August 1999. He rescued a man in the Hudson River. He groped around in the black water until he was able to pull the man to safety‚ even though he was not wearing his air tank. It was a great feeling for him. He loved to scuba dive‚ but with three kids‚ he devoted his time to family.
Michael was a volunteer firefighter in his hometown of New Hyde Park‚ Long Island‚ for 13 years‚ and a volunteer firefighter with the Central Valley Fire Department for 2 years.
At age 5‚ he owned his first fire helmet‚ and he waited years for a call from the Fire Department. He received the call in 1988‚ and was assigned to Ladder Company 10 across from the World Trade Center.
Michael was extremely mechanical. He could fix anything. Mike was a trained plumber. Whenever he was around‚ you felt safe. He was very smart‚ cautious and level-headed. If something went wrong‚ everyone in the family turned to Mike. He could always be depended on.
He was an excellent cook‚ who enjoyed preparing meals for family and friends. He also loved the praise he received for his efforts.
Michael met his wife Nancy in September of 1989 when she and a friend stopped by a firehouse at the South Street Seaport to ask for directions to the George Washington Bridge. He and a group of buddies from Ladder Co. 10 had also stopped by the same firehouse to pick up their cars which were parked there. On the way home‚ Nancy told her girlfriend‚ ‘I think I am going to marry that man.’ He called the next morning and they were married in March of 1993.
As much as he loved being a firefighter‚ he adored his three sons Matthew now 7 1/2‚ Ian 6 and Ryan 4. He was extremely proud of their every accomplishment. He would always say to Nancy‚ ‘This is what it is all about.’ When Mike walked in the door‚ the boys were all over him. All you could hear throughout the house was ‘Daddy‚ Daddy‚ Daddy.’
Matthew‚ his oldest son‚ was learning to play hockey‚ a sport Mike loved‚ and he was the assistant coach. He was going to get early relief on 9/11; Matthew had a game‚ and he promised him that he would be there. He never let the boys down.
Michael and his wife sold their home August 1‚ 2001. Mike was extremely thrilled to be building a new home. On September 11th only the foundation was in the ground. It was his dream house. It was to be built on a beautiful 1.5 acre lot. Unfortunately‚ he was never able to see it. His wife Nancy believes that it was one of Michael’s final acts of love for his family. He found the place that he wanted his wife and children to settle.
Michael also leaves behind his parents Margaret and George Montesi‚ his sister Maria Lauria and many nieces and nephews.
He will forever remain in their hearts.