When Lt. Kenneth Phelan, 41, was made Lieutenant in 2000, he asked to be assigned to Engine Company 217, the “Smokebusters,” in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn, his father’s old house. Along with his brother, Phelan had first joined the NYPD in 1981 before being appointed to the FDNY in 1989. He was nicknamed “Shuffles” from the loud noises he made when he walked.
He and his wife met when they were both teenagers and neither ever dated anyone else. Their first date was to a Mets game. He left behind four children.