“Nicholas Rossomando”

555 Fitness Hero WOD

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  • 3 Rounds for Time
  • 5 Push Presses (70% of 1 RM)
  • 10 Burpee Box Jumps (24/20 in)

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namesake photo
This Firefighter Hero WOD is dedicated to Nicholas Rossomando, FDNY, Rescue 5, who was killed on September 11, 2001.

In November 1999, Nicholas Rossomando began two strong and lasting relationships; he went on his first date with Tammi D'Antoni the night before he began his assignment at Rescue Co. 5 in Concord.

"I could never have wished for a more loving man to come into my life, as well as my son's," Miss D'Antoni said. Their time together often included taking her son, Anthony Michael, to dinner or the movies. From fishing in Florida to teaching him karate, going to his baseball games or taking him to the firehouse, Mr. Rossomando made time for his 7-year-old friend.

At Rescue 5, the 35-year-old Westerleigh resident shared a bond of brotherhood with a team of men who depended on each other. "He was one of my newer friends at the house, but he was a good one," said Lt. Robert Dimperio. The feeling was mutual. After the lieutenant was injured on the job, Mr. Rossomando visited him every day. The two were together the night before the attack on the World Trade Center.

Mr. Rossomando had finished his tour on the morning of Sept. 11 and was enjoying the "crossover period," when all the guys from the previous shift share the firehouse with those coming on duty. When the call came in for the attack at the Trade Center, he grabbed his gear and jumped on the truck. He was one of 11 members of Rescue 5 who never returned from the calamity, and one of five who weren't supposed to be working at that hour.

Mr. Rossomando joined the Fire Department in 1996. Assigned first to Engine Co. 228, Brooklyn, he later moved to Ladder Co. 113, also Brooklyn, where he stayed from 1997 to 1998.

In those early days, he distinguished himself during a rescue where he was lowered by rope from a roof to help free a person trapped in a building. Although this maneuver was unusual for someone relatively new on the job, it was indicative of the approach he took to his career and his commitment to helping others.

This year, he was recognized for exemplary performance for his part in the rescue of a man pinned under a train. "He did not present himself as a guy with five to six years' experience," said Mr. Dimperio. "He was more like a 20-year guy. He learned a lot in a very short time."

Most recently he had become certified in scuba diving, one of the many technical skills for which rescue workers are trained. "If there is any consolation in all of this," said his father, Peter, "it's that he did something he loved, and he perished doing the thing he loved."

Prior to joining the Fire Department, Mr. Rossomando worked for Brooklyn Union Gas before starting his own home renovation business -- Rosso's Home Improvement. After he joined the department in 1996, his business became a sideline.

"He was meticulous in everything he did," said his mother, Barbara Scaramuzzino, who remembered him as "always busy, never idle." Examples of his handiwork are all over the firehouse: He built lockers, installed doors, and added molding. Miss D'Antoni and the proud carpenter often toured neighborhoods where he could show her his work or they looked for a house to buy and renovate when they married.

A football player at Port Richmond High School in the early 1980s, he remained fit by playing ice hockey and bodybuilding. His most recent passion was karate. He earned a black belt in 1997 and he began sharing his expertise with Anthony Michael and his nephew, Anthony John.

An avid sports fan, the teams he supported often had personal connections. His younger brothers, Peter and Christopher, followed their big brother's footsteps and played football for Port Richmond. Mr. Rossomando supported them there, and later cheered for them on their respective college teams.

The two younger brothers are now coaches: Peter for Albany State University and Christopher for Franklin High School in Somerset, N.J. While Mr. Rossomando was only able to attend the occasional game, he followed their teams' progress. He also felt a personal connection to professional baseball; his childhood buddy, Staten Islander Frank Menechino, plays second base for the Oakland A's. Born in Brooklyn, Mr. Rossomando was brought to New Springville when he was 3 years old. He moved to Westerleigh in 1992.

He was a parishioner of Holy Family R.C. Church, Westerleigh. His mother saw her son as a guy with a magical personality who touched many lives. He helped strangers, and supported and loved family members.
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