Actor Steve Buscemi says he experienced PTSD after searching for survivors at Ground Zero following 9/11

Steve buscemi
Steve Buscemi spoke about PTSD on the podcast, ‘WTF with Marc Maron.’ Kris Connor/Getty
  • Steve Buscemi opened up about his PTSD on the “WTF with Marc Maron” podcast.
  • Buscemi was a firefighter at New York City’s Engine Company 55 from 1980 to 1984.
  • Buscemi volunteered with Engine Company 55 at Ground Zero following the 2001 terrorist attacks.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Steve Buscemi said he dealt with post-traumatic stress disorder after rescuing survivors at Ground Zero following 9/11.

The “Fargo” actor appeared on the “WTF with Marc Maron” podcast to talk about his time as a New York City firefighter and his efforts in the aftermath of the 9/11 terror attacks.

Buscemi, 63, was a firefighter with Engine Company 55 from 1980 to 1984. He later volunteered with his former company after two hijacked planes crashed into the World Trade Center twin towers 20 years ago. He said he arrived at Ground Zero to assist in search and rescue efforts.

“I kept calling the firehouse,” Buscemi told Marc Maron. “And, of course, there was no answer because I knew that they would be there. And then I eventually learned that five of them were missing. One of them was a good friend of mine I used to work with.”

A smoldering pile at Ground Zero.
The World Trade Center on Sept. 11, 2001. Alan Chin

He continued: “I was driven to the site that day, walked around for hours and then found my company, found Engine 55 working there. I asked if I could join them. I could tell they were a little suspicious at first, but I worked with them that day.”

Buscemi previously said he volunteered for several days and worked 12-hour shifts alongside other firefighters.

Although Buscemi said he had not “experienced any health issues” from Ground Zero, he “absolutely” has PTSD.

“I was only there for like five days, but when I stopped going and tried to just live my life again, it was really, really hard,” Buscemi told Maron.

Actor and former FDNY firefighter Steve Buscemi greets firefighters after a memorial service at Old St. Pat's Church to mark the tenth anniversary of the September 11 terror attacks.
Actor and former FDNY firefighter Steve Buscemi greets firefighters after a memorial service to mark the tenth anniversary of September 11. Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

He added that he was “depressed,” “anxious,” and “couldn’t make a simple decision.”

“All those things. It’s still with me. There are times when I talk about 9/11, and I’m right back there. I start to get choked up and I realize, ‘Ah, this is still a big part of me.”

Buscemi told Maron that the 20th anniversary could be a “trigger” for “a lot of people that were down there.” Nearly 3,000 people were killed as a result of plane hijackings that struck the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and a Pennsylvania field.

During the HBO documentary “A Good Job: Stories of the FDNY,” Buscemi said of his volunteer work: “It was a privilege to be able to do it. 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.”