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Daughter of FDNY firefighter killed on 9/11 graduates from academy

She will be the first daughter of a firefighter who died on 9/11 to become a firefighter

NEW YORK — The daughter of an FDNY firefighter killed on 9/11 is set to graduate Tuesday from the FDNY fire academy.

NY Daily News reported that Josephine Smith, 34, will become the first daughter of a firefighter killed on 9/11 to become a firefighter herself.

Her father, Kevin Smith, 47, a father of eight from Long Island, was stationed at Hazmat Co. 1 in Manhattan on 9/11.

After losing her father, Smith said her desire to follow in his footsteps only became stronger.

“I couldn’t be more honored to follow in my father’s footsteps and carry out his legacy,” Smith said. “It’s a big deal to me.”

Smith has wanted to be a firefighter her entire life.

“As long as I can remember, as far back as I can remember, I’ve wanted to be a firefighter,” she said. “I remember being like these little kids here, playing on the fire truck at my dad’s firehouse and always telling my dad I was going to work with him one day. Always.”

Her family has supported her dream in spite of the concern that comes with the job.

“My mom’s worried, of course. They’re all worried, but they’re extremely proud. They all support me, have my back,” she said.

Her hard work has not gone unnoticed by the FDNY brass.

“I couldn’t be prouder that she got through this very, very difficult training,” FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro told The News. “She’s gone through a tough 18 weeks and proven that she’s every bit as good as her father was. I’m sure she’ll be a great firefighter (and) have a great career.”

Smith credits her squad and her memories of her father for getting her through training.

“I have a picture of him by my light switch that I see when I leave (home) every day. And a sign above it that says ‘make him proud.’ So seeing that every day, it helps. I was thinking about my dad a lot in the academy.”