Today, as we begin our recognition of Black History Month, meet Engine 295 Firefighter Belvon Koranteng. This past November, the Jackson Heights native helped to rescue numerous civilians trapped in a 3-alarm high-rise fire in Manhattan. Not only is he making history in his family as a first-generation FDNY Firefighter, he is also inspiring others to choose a rewarding career in the fire service.
“I love working for the FDNY because I get to sacrifice for the greater good of the community every day. I’ve never been a stranger to hard work and have always been passionate about public service, which this Department provides a great avenue for,” he said. “I took the Open Competitive Exam in 2017 while I was in college after meeting with FDNY recruiters. They recommended that I take part in their CPAT Training and Fitness Awareness programs in order to prepare for the Academy and it was very beneficial to me. I’ve always considered myself a very active person, but the instructors in these programs helped me understand what muscle groups to focus on in order to perform my job at the highest level.”
“I hope that I can be an example for the young ones in my family that they too can become a Firefighter one day and continue the tradition that started with me,” he added. “For someone like me who does not come from a family of Firefighters, my physicality and stamina helped me throughout my time in the Academy. Maintaining good physical health is one of the most important things in this field and it is the first thing I recommend to anyone who is interested in the career. The transition from civilian to first responder is no walk in the park, so I suggest that you take advantage of all the programs the Department offers for candidates. You will be able to speak to your fellow Firefighters, get hands-on experience with the tools we use, and ultimately become more selfless and focus on the teamwork that makes every Firefighter a great one.”