555 Fitness Hero WOD
- 4 Rounds for Time
- 21 Burpees
- 15 Pull-Ups
- 9 Back Squats (225/155 lb)
After watching his number creep up the list of new hires for 20 years, Paul Tegtmeier finally got the call 18 months ago to become a New York City firefighter, at the age of 40. He quit his job as a field technician at Verizon and picked up his crisp uniform. "He met the age cutoff, from the time that he applied," said his wife, Catherine. , "His was the last class taken off that list. Firefighting was something he wanted to do since he was a toddler and he only wanted to do it in New York City."
Mr. Tegtmeier, 41, a father of two, was on his way to Engine Company 26 in Manhattan when the first plane struck 1 World Trade Center. Fire officials say that he likely reached the firehouse in time to join his colleagues as they rushed toward the twin towers, Mrs. Tegtmeier said.
He loved firefighting, and was volunteer for more than 20 years at the Roosevelt, N.Y., Fire Department, where he met his wife, also a volunteer firefighter. His 6-year-old son, Aric, lives very much in his parents' image. A couple of days after the collapse, Aric pulled on his firefighting helmet, coat and boots and fought invisible fires on the front lawn with firefighters who came to mourn the loss of his dad.
Paul Tegtmeier was driving to Manhattan's Engine Co. 26 firehouse when the first plane slammed into Tower One. His wife, Cathy, a flight nurse with the Westchester Medical Center, was out when he called. When she hadn't heard from her husband by late evening on Sept. 11, she said, she had a gut feeling he was missing. He sounded shaken up on his voicemail message after the first moments of the attack.
Tegtmeier, 41, spent the past 18 months with Engine Co. 4 in Lower Manhattan but was permanently assigned to Ladder 46 in the Bronx. He spent most of his 24-year firefighting career as a volunteer with the Roosevelt Fire Department in Hyde Park, where he was born and raised. He graduated from Roosevelt High School there. The day before the attack, the couple had been house hunting in Manhattan. His wife said that Tegtmeier was an outgoing, caring individual, willing to help anyone at anytime.