T ime to celebrate Carnival 2019! Just before our members gathered on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn to march in the West Indian Day Parade on Sept. 2, we spoke with EMS Lieutenant David Greenidge, Supervising Fire Protection Inspector Steve Ireland and Firefighter Neal Francis to learn what this special heritage day means to them. Check out what they had to say below.
“Carnival celebrations are really a time of freedom because you feel a happiness all day, you can dance and have a great time celebrating with everyone,” said Station 44 Lieutenant David Greenidge. “Working in Brownsville, Brooklyn, there is a big Caribbean population and my favorite part about my career is being able to interact with the public and helping others. Even when the call volume is very high, I just enjoy helping people. I enjoy what I do and I’m honored to have had growth in my field from starting as an EMT to becoming a Paramedic and now an Officer.”
“Some of my proudest moments working here at the FDNY are when I go into West Indian restaurants and I’m able to identify with my culture and help the businesses throughout the city with their inspections,” said Supervising Fire Protection Inspector Steve Ireland. “I enjoy celebrating my heritage on Eastern Parkway in Brooklyn with my family. We get together and we cook a large meal and eat together and then we make our way to the parade. I love all of the different Caribbean dishes, that’s what I enjoy the most each year.”
“Carnival means celebrating my West Indian heritage and I really love everything about today. I love the food, the music, the people, the culture and the excitement and I think it’s great that people from around the city get to see how we celebrate during the parade each year,” said Ladder 137 Firefighter Neal Francis. “Working in this Department is great because you meet so many different people because we have so many cultures here and I really love the camaraderie here. This is a great career.”