Think you’ve got a good idea of what a New York firefighter is like? Or a New York biker?
Well, get ready to reexamine some of your stereotypes, if you’ve got ‘em.
Sarinya Srisakul is the FDNY’s first Asian-American woman firefighter (she also happens to be a vegan). She rides her bike to work 10 miles from Elmhurst, Queens, to the East Village in Manhattan, because it gets her there faster than the subway, it keeps her in shape, and she loves it.
Srisakul’s story is the first in a series Streetfilms is doing for Bike Month in New York City. “My best advice for people out there is if you want respect out there on the road, you have to give respect,” she says. “Give respect to pedestrians, give respect to other cyclists, give respect to cars.”
Srisakul even schleps all her heavy firefighting gear on the bike when she is detailed to another firehouse.
“People think it’s absolutely nuts,” she says with a laugh. “Good thing I don’t really care what other people think. Otherwise I wouldn’t be a firefighter, either.”