Two times the bravery! Join us below in celebrating National Siblings Day by meeting FDNY identical twin brothers Ladder 123 Firefighter Manuel and Ladder 110 Firefighter Emmanuel Zuaznabar. The two, who completed the Fire Academy together in 2020, are also known as “The Z Brothers.”
“We’re born and raised in Brownsville/East New York and we’re the youngest of 12. I’m older than Emmanuel by five minutes,” Manuel said jokingly.
“We come from a large Dominican and Cuban family. We were raised by our mom, and aside from being first generation born in America, we’re the first in our family to become Firefighters as well,” Emmanuel added.
Join FDNY: Why did you want to become a New York City Firefighter?
Firefighter Manuel Zuaznabar: I wanted to show people that grew up like me or who look like me that we have options. We don’t always have to do sports or make music to move up in life and live comfortably. There is nothing better than being able to serve the community I grew up in. Hopefully, I can inspire the next generation and show them that there are people just like them on the job.
Firefighter Emmanuel Zuaznabar: To be honest, my brother was my biggest inspiration to become a Firefighter. He was really into the job, the more he spoke to me about it, the more I started gaining interest in it. Once the test came out, he told me to take it with him. It was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Join FDNY: How was it training in the Fire Academy with your brother?
FMZ: We took the open competitive exam and scored the same on the test. My list number was 1047 and his was 1048. It was great going through the Academy at the same time. We trained for it together, so it was good having my brother there with me.
FEZ: We were in the same Bravo class, and Manuel was a squad ahead of mine. We participated in anything that would help us get this job including the Fitness Awareness Program and we attended any extra help academically that the Academy offered when we were Probies. We were also Mentees in the Firefighter Candidate Mentorship Program and we had the same Mentor, Ladder 110 Firefighter Dale Ford. I work at the same firehouse as him now and we serve the Fort Greene neighborhood.
Join FDNY: Your names are very similar, are there any nicknames you two have on the job now?
FMZ: Growing up, my name was ‘Manny’ and his was ‘E.’ Since we work in different firehouses, we’re both called ‘Manny.’ When we’re together, people call us ‘The Z Brothers.’
Join FDNY: Have you worked a tour together since the Fire Academy?
FMZ: Yes, we worked together last June and it was a great memory for us. Being in the same career as my brother makes our bond even stronger.
FEZ: It was amazing working in the firehouse with him. I never really expected us to do a tour together, but it just worked out that way. We did drills and responded to jobs. I know him as my brother, but to see him as a Firefighter and interact with him on a different level was amazing.
Interested in working as a New York City Firefighter? Learn more about the essential career today here.