Heroes don't only wear capes! We established that with our recent piece on real-life celebrity heroism, though one person we didn't mention - who deserves a piece all to himself - is former firefighter Steve Buscemi. His story of loyalty to the FDNY has resurfaced, and we're so glad about it.

Steve Buscemi at the premiere of 'The Death of Stalin'Steve Buscemi at the premiere of 'The Death of Stalin'

The 60-year-old Golden Globe winner used to be in the fire service in New York when he was in his mid-twenties, serving in the FDNY's Engine Co. 55 in Manhattan for four years. Few people realise that he actually went back to his old rescue squad in 2001 following the 9/11 attacks.

He worked a series of 12-hour shifts in a bid to search through the rubble that was the World Trade Center for survivors, and later campaigned for higher wages for all firefighters in the country. He even got arrested along with nineteen other people for protesting the closing down several fire stations including his old place of work in 2003. 

He returned to support protestors again in 2011, and just four years ago he was named Honorary Battalion Chief of the FDNY, even starring in a documentary for HBO entitled 'A Good Job: Stories of the FDNY'.

Few people are aware of Buscemi's work following 9/11, largely because he refused to take part in photo opportunities or interviews at that time. The work was just too important to waste time acknowledging his star status, and the tragedy too painful to be distracted. 

More: Nine celebrities who risked their lives to save others

'It was a privilege to be able to do it', he said of the event, much later. 'It was great to connect with the firehouse I used to work with and with some of the guys I worked alongside. And it was enormously helpful for me because while I was working, I didn't really think about it as much, feel it as much. It wasn't until I stopped that I really felt the full impact of what had happened.'