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“William Lake”


555 Fitness Hero WOD

2.2K 90
  • EMOM in 10 minutes
  • 2 Overhead Squats (135/95 lb)
  • 2 Push Presses (135/95 lb)

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This Firefighter Hero WOD is dedicated to William Lake, FDNY, Rescue 2, who was killed on September 11, 2001.

On the night of September 10th, 2001 a special dinner was held at Rescue 2 celebrating Billy’s 20th anniversary with the Fire Department. The guys at the firehouse whipped up a dinner of roast beef, shrimp, and chocolate mousse for everyone on duty that night. Laughter rang throughout the walls of the firehouse.

This would be the last dinner at the firehouse for many of the men at Rescue 2. The next day, on September 11th, Billy Lake perished in the north tower of the WTC. Billy was no stranger to rescues and disasters. He had saved people in all manners of disaster, including a scuba dive rescue, the 1993 WTC bombing, and the Oklahoma City tragedy.

As a young boy, Billy’s mom could always find him hanging out at the firehouse two blocks away. He spent all of his free time there. On the outside, he was a tough guy, with a Rescue 2 tattoo, a Harley Davidson, and labored hands. On the inside, he was a softie. He loved his son Kyler and his cat Boxie. He was known for his dedication to saving lives. 9/11 was Billy’s last call. We Will Never Forget!

The horse was on its knees, smoke-sick and frozen with fear, when Billy Lake and his partners found it in the burning barn. They had followed the whinnying they'd heard from outside the inferno at the Bergen Beach stables in south Brooklyn. The men decided it was time to go when the horse refused to budge, but Lake was just as stubborn. "He said, 'No, I ain't leaving that horse,'" recalled Rescue 2 firefighter Clifford Pase of the June 2000 arson that killed 21 of 24 horses. "So we put straps on him, rigged him up and dragged him out. And Billy gave him oxygen, and he survived."

That horse was just one of many animals rescued over the years by Lake, who once performed mouth-to-snout respiration on a dog he'd pulled out of frozen Prospect Park Lake, comrades remembered Friday night at a wake in his lifelong neighborhood of Bay Ridge.

A Harley-Davidson lover, too, Lake was remembered by 700 motorcyclists from all over the tri-state area who rode to the firehouse Sunday in a memorial benefit. But Lake, 44, was better known for his passionate dedication to saving human lives. The 20-year-veteran had suffered hearing loss from rescue scuba dives, and chemicals encountered on another call had burned the skin of his hands. But Lake wanted to put in at least another five years before taking retirement, said his former wife, Dorothy Lake, with whom he had reconciled. "His saying was, 'Pain is just weakness leaving the body,'" she recalled.
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