The latest New Yorker of the Week is a firefighter who has been a source of perserverance, dependability and fatherhood to a group of Staten Island families. NY1's John Schiumo filed the following report.

On September 11, 2001, Jo Jo Esposito became a father figure to 26 children. 

When 11 of his fellow firefighters from Rescue 5 died at the World Trade Center, and his own brother and cousin, the Staten Island native knew he had a job to do. 

"In the tradition of the fire department, we take care of our own," Esposito says. "So the firehouse stepped up and we made sure that things were taken care of, the little things that a husband that’s not around anymore would take care of." 

Little things, and some big things, too. 

For the past 15 years, Jo Jo has been there. On holidays and birthdays, at graduations and weddings, he's there. 

"I'm sure I speak for all of the children of Rescue 5 that we really do get a little piece of our fathers when we’re with him. I know I can feel my dad whenever I'm with him, and it’s an amazing thing," says Katelyn Mascali, who lost her father in the September 11th attacks.

Esposito is now entering his 32nd year with the Fire Department. The FDNY family is his family. 

"It just really, really struck me at that point because he was going through the same loss that we were going through, and his major concern was about us and our families," says Madeline Bergin, who lost her husband in the September 11th attacks.

"We all lost our husbands, so there was a heavy burden on our shoulders, and he helped, helped with that. Relief. Just someone to lean on," says Joanne Modafferi, who lost her husband in the September 11th attacks.

That bond forged when these young adults were little kids continues today. 

"That’s how I want to be as a person or an adult in this world, that whenever a friend or family member calls, I'm the first person there, and that’s what Jo Jo has taught me," says Shannon Bergin, who lost her father in the September 11th attacks.

"When you think of a father, you think of someone that’s always there for you. You think of a hero. You think of someone that’s always in your corner," says Massimo DiDonna, who lost his father-in-law in the September 11th attacks.

And that someone for Rescue 5 families is Jo Jo. 

"What compels me to do that is just the little things, sometimes just to know that they’re still thought of, and that, we don’t forget," Esposito says. "And that’s our motto. We never forget."

So, for staying loyal to the families of his fallen brothers, Jo Jo Esposito is the latest New Yorker of the Week.