Into the fire

In his classic CD release “The Rising,” Bruce Springsteen sang about the heroic efforts of firefighters and other first responders in their effort to save people in the Twin Towers on Sept. 11, 2001.

“The sky was falling and streaked with blood, I heard you calling me, and then you disappeared into the dust, up the stairs, into the fire,” Springsteen sang about first responders, many of whom lost their lives, leaving behind loved ones who had to let them go. “I need your kiss, but love and duty called you someplace higher, somewhere up the stairs, into the fire.”

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Now, Springsteen may well be thinking about fire in another context. His son, Sam R. Springsteen of Colts Neck, recently took the civil service test to become a Jersey City firefighter.

Firefighting experience 

While the city could not confirm Sam’s taking the test, widespread media reports said he had and is waiting for results. City Spokesperson Kimberly Scalcione said she could not confirm this because testing is governed by civil service rules. She said the city will not know anything until the test results are in, and the hiring list made.

While the test results are in, they have not yet been posted.

The city hopes to send about 60 applicants to the academy. Firefighters are accepted based on their scores which determine their ranking for eventual hiring.

Sam Springsteen, 25, was a volunteer firefighter in Freehold after graduating from the Monmouth County Fire Academy in 2014. He later worked for the Long Branch Fire Department.

Blazing a trail 

Bruce Springsteen is perhaps the biggest musical star to emerge out of the Asbury Park music scene of the late 1960s and early 1970s. His breakthrough album “Born to Run,” made him an international star, although he never forgot his roots. Many of his songs are about growing up in New Jersey and his working class upbringing.

Sam is one of three children born to Bruce and Patti Scialfa, who was a member of Springsteen’s legendary E-Street Band. She called her son a hero when he was appointed to the volunteer department.

While there was no comment from Bruce Springsteen through his management office, the lyrics of his song in tribute to first responders may well reflect his personal feelings about his son’s decision to pursue a career that puts his life at risk.

“May your strength give us strength, may your faith give us faith, may your hope give us hope, may your love give us love,” Bruce sings. “You gave your love to see, in fields of red and autumn brown; You gave your love to me and lay your young body down; Up the stairs, into the fire … I need you near, but love and duty called you someplace higher, somewhere up the stairs, into the fire.”

For updates on this and other stories check and follow us on Twitter @hudson_reporter. Al Sullivan can be reached at

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