Steven Coakley, 36, had just finished his shift that morning when he jumped on the truck into Manhattan. Apparently he worked a lot of double shifts. It was his practice to work back-to-back as often as he could for the first half of the month so he could spend the second half of the month in his beach house and on his boat in Florida. Over the years, he had restored the boat to seaworthiness and expanded the bungalow into a two-story home with room for the ff buddies who would come to visit. He was planning to retire in 2005 to move to Florida full time. “41 and done” was the plan he had in mind.
Coakley began his firefighting career with the Wyandach Volunteer Fire Company in Babylon, Long Island, where his dad was a honorary member. A few years later he followed his grandfather’s example and joined the FDNY. His nickname around Engine 217 was “MacGyver” for his habit of fixing anything that broke.