September 11, 2001 was the 40th birthday of Lieutenant Vincent Giammona. Just four days earlier, Giammona was on Coney Island with his wife and two youngest daughters. Having taken in the aquarium, they were headed back home when he turned the car around. He just couldn’t leave without a ride on The Cyclone, Coney Island’s big roller coaster. Trouble is, it didn’t start its runs until 6pm, four hours away. He cajoled, flashed his badge, played up his imminent birthday, and otherwise charmed his way into a solo ride. Soon enough, there he was, the only one on board for a private ride on the coaster. This is why his nickname around Ladder 5 was “Lieutenant Fun.”
Posthumously promoted to Captain, Giammona left behind four young daughters.