Ed Tweedy made a killing wheeling and dealing on Wall Street.
The Floral Park native brokered hedge funds, traded electricity and swapped oil shares. He did well. The next step after years on the courtside of capitalism, he thought, was to start taking life easy.
But he soon found that was hard to do.
"I made a pile and then I tried to retire and hated it," said Tweedy, who now lives in Connecticut.
He returned to trading but was soon miserable and quit. But that didn't mean Tweedy was done taking risks. Even in a sluggish economy where age discrimination can keep an older, experienced professional either clinging to a dead-end job or out of the job market entirely, Tweedy followed his dream.
The 61-year-old former merchant mariner, married with three grown children, now works for the FDNY as a rookie emergency medical technician out of Bathgate Station 18 in the South Bronx after finishing months of training in 2012.
After years making money, Tweedy said, "at a certain point in your life, you have to give back. The corporate world became meaningless and the human condition kicked in to help people."
It's unheard of to have a rookie who is into his sixth decade, said Israel Miranda, the union president of the Uniformed EMTs, Paramedics and Fire Inspectors, though he is also quick to add that there's no age limitation.
But the day-to-day grind of EMT work "is physically and mentally taxing. It's very new to have someone come in at this age. I wish him a lot of luck."
Tweedy said the job's physical and mental challenges never discouraged him from entering the training academy in October 2012, although he admits now he was not in tiptop physical shape then.
"I definitely was not a health nut. I did not run three miles a day, but I wasn't sloppy," Tweedy said. "It was challenging, but I showed up and ran the miles. I did the situps and the weights, and carried people up and down 10 to 12 stories."
Tweedy's life-changing career hit close to home this past summer when he was able to successfully treat his father after the 83-year-old fell seriously ill at the nursing home where he lives.
"Everything in my life led up to being there for my father . . . quitting Wall Street, commodities," he said. "I was happy that I was trained to be there for my father."