They dreamed of following in the firefighter footsteps of their fathers who died of 9/11-related illnesses. But then government bureaucrats declared their dads’ deaths weren’t heroic enough to be fully considered “in the line of duty.”
At least 13 men who banked on a longstanding FDNY policy granting children of firefighters who died on the job preferential status are devastated because their dreams have gone up in smoke.
"We've all been waiting at least five years just to get in the running to get the job. And now that we're here, they've taken away the legacy of our fathers," said Scott Barocas, whose father, Capt. Sheldon Barocas, died in 2011 from a 9/11-related cancer.
Barocas, 28, is among the unlucky group who received a letter in May from the FDNY notifying them of a mind-boggling interpretation of civil service law that their dads — who endured slow deaths from 9/11-related illnesses — died on administrative duty.
That meant Barocas lost so-called "legacy points," which vaulted him to the 20th spot in the long line of would-be firefighters.