NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. (CBSNewYork) — It’s all in the family at the New Rochelle fire department.
Among 21 candidates Friday, the department welcomed a third-generation firefighter.
It wasn’t the first time Ann Cordaro hugged and kissed a recent graduate of a fire academy in Westchester County. At this point, you can probably call her a pro.
“I couldn’t ask for a better life or better boys,” she said.
Her late husband was a New Rochelle firefighter for almost 40 years and so are her sons — all five of them following in their dad’s footsteps. But on Friday, a third generation found room on the same path.
“My husband is not here, he’d be so proud of his grandson,” said Ann. “That he became a firefighter also, because my husband loved it.”
With a salute to his dad, handshake and a hug, 27-year-old Ted Cordaro became a probationary firefighter.
“I think it’s a calling, as cliche that sounds. I really think it is, you just know from a young age what it is you want to do,” said Ted.
“He studied hard for it, he worked hard for it and everything kind of fell into place,” said Ted’s father, Salvatore.
After 17 weeks of training, Ted and 20 other men graduated. All will be stationed in different fire houses across Westchester Ccounty, but Ted will head right to New Rochelle, working in the same department as his dad and his four uncles.
“New Rochelle, we’re a busy job to begin with,” said New Rochelle fire chief Andy Sandor. “There’s a lot of things going on and to get such men of character, it’s just incredible, I am just so fortunate to be able to work with such people.”
They’ll be busy, but with Ted’s grandfather as inspiration and his grandmother right here with him, he has support.
“I have a scanner so I listen to them when they go out, so I can make sure… Even my husband, when he retired, would make sure he knew where they were,” said Ann.
She has six firemen to listen for — it’s like having a full time job, for a woman full of pride.
Ted’s aunt also took the firefighter exam, but ended up going into nursing instead.