Ed Kelly is the head of the state firefighters association, but he’s no desk jockey. He’s a working firefighter, and on Tuesday night, 27 hours after Boston changed forever, I followed him up the stairs at the District 4 station on Columbus Avenue that houses Ladder 17 and Engine 7 in the South End.
“Here’s the deal,” Kelly said, stopping me before we went in the room. “They don’t want their names in the paper. They don’t want to be singled out. They did what every firefighter in the city did. What every cop, every EMS worker, did. They don’t think they’re special.”