Author Topic: How It All Began  (Read 410 times)

Offline Signal73

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How It All Began
« on: April 19, 2019, 09:36:17 AM »
Recently I told Willy D a story about my first time "Buffing"

He said I should really share it with every one.

I was hesitant because the title of the group is "My Younger Buff Years"

For me "Younger Years" was 14 years ago as apposed to 40-50+ for most.

I decided to go with "How It All Began" for the title.

Now I wonder if this is even worth the share, as it doesn't compare to every one else's stories, but here we go.

My dad was a volunteer fire fighter for 30+ years, and that's how I got involved with fire fighting.
I wasn't much of a reader as a kid but while at the library one day I found a book on the shelf called "FireHouse" by David Halberstam. It talked about Engine 40 & Ladder 35 on 9-11. I couldn't put the book down, and for a non reader it was rare. Few months later after finishing the book (probably read it a good 3 times) I was heading on a family vacation (Dad, Mom Brother & my self) to Wildwood NJ. My dad told me "we have to make a quick stop in New York, a friend of mine said there is this cool place to visit" Not knowing what I know now about NYC I had no clue where we where. I noticed parked on the side of the road was a SSL Truck. I looked at the street sign and it was Amsterdam Ave & West 66th St, I yelled to my dad "Hey there is Engine 40 Ladder 35 The Cavemen" by that time my dad found a place to park. We got out of the car and boy was I happier than a fat kid in a buffet line. Only being 14 years old and being invited inside a special place like this I was speechless. I never got any ones name, but the guys were outstanding letting us take picture of the rigs, the fire house, and even let my brother & I sit in the trucks for pictures. We bought T-Shirts & patches 1 of the guys gave me a medal day plastic mug. It was like Christmas in July.

As years went by my dad would end up taking me to fire houses all over the 4 boroughs, Yes 4 because we never went to Staten Island. It was great here we were with our map quest directions and throw away cameras, granted it was 2004-2008 buy my dad being an "old school guy" he did not have a GPS not even a cell phone (2019 still no GPS, has a flip phone that he never uses & still gets paper checks)

I still didn't know as much as I do now about New York...I would still listen to the scanner on the computer (Mostly just Manhattan) but I didn't know Brooklyn had the most fires, 1 time while visiting Engine 53 & Ladder 43 the truck was sent out to relocate. I didn't know what that meant or that they went lights and siren to it. Everything was new, but when visiting I tried to take as much information in as I could. I also didn't know when tour change was so while stopping at Engine 4 & Ladder 15 one time I was turned away because it was tour change. Made that mistake 1 time and 1 time only. I felt terrible.

Every fire house we went to the guys were great, always offering to show me the trucks or the fire house, offer us a drink or a snack. We never took up on the offers. I was just thankful to be allowed in for a few pictures and to purchase a patch or a shirt. There was just this 1 times visiting Rescue 1 FF Al Benjamin wouldn't take no for an answer. He game my dad & my self the million dollar tour of Rescue 1. I was so thankful, he didn't have to do that, he wanted to. I never forgot that moment. Many years later he became the SR man of Rescue 1 and while visiting there another time he happen to be working, and remembered me. I felt honored.

2009 I graduated high school, and finally got my license (Never wanted it cuz all my friend drove & the fire house was in running distance) I decided to make my way over the Verrazano Bridge and visit all the Staten Island Fire Houses. Ended up having to make 3 trips over there but got it done. and by that time I knew a little more about the job.

As of 2019 I have visited every FDNY Fire House and have a patch (or patches) from every company in All 5 Boroughs.


As I got older and knew more about New York I found my self there more and more. Becoming friends with people on the job whether it was in the field or behind the mic.

The month was June (We will leave the year out of it) I was invited to "Ride along" with a busy Queens company (we will also leave the company out). It was Christmas now in June I was so excited I decided to go get ice cream (Dairy Queen). Long story short on my way home from Ice Cream I crashed my car by rear ending someone at a good speed. My car was totaled and I had a good gash on my forehead from hitting the windshield. (Wear your seat belts). I was so upset not because of my car, not because there was ice cream all over my dash. But that I could wake up the next morning with a concussion and not be able to go to New York.

The following day it was all systems go..I watched the clock for a good portion of the day waiting for the time so I could now go catch the train to GCT and then now subway out to Queens. I get to the firehouse I was nervous, don't say anything stupid, use your manors, LEARN something. It was the 6X9 tour, The first call was an Odor of Gas, Couple medicals, then finally "Phone Alarm smoke in the basement of a MD" I caught a 10-75 my first time riding. It was amazing to watch the men work and what each company did. I couldn't see any fire or smoke because of where the basement apartment was, but it was still something different to witness. It was getting late and I didn't want to leave. Then I was told "Hey would hate for you to take the subway home this late, there is an extra bed made up stairs for you" What a treat this was. I just had to make sure I woke up for the tones, but who could sleep in a time like, pretty sure I was forced to go to sleep lol. I was asked why I wore my baseball hat so slow that it wasn't a good look. I took it off so everyone could now see the giant gash from my accident on my forehead. "Yeah leave that hat low no one needs to see that they replied jokingly"

What experience that was a once in a life time opportunity

I also got to visit the XCO & MCO. It was different seeing the Communications center and not just listening from the scanner or phone.



Whelp there is my on "How It All Began" I am not good at typing long things so hopefully everyone is able to follow along. Let me know if I should delete this or move it some where else.

Thank You

Brad
Remember to take it coming in

Nycfire.net

How It All Began
« on: April 19, 2019, 09:36:17 AM »

Offline Bulldog

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Re: How It All Began
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2019, 10:40:14 AM »
Great story, thanks for sharing!

Online nfd2004

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Re: How It All Began
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2019, 11:03:48 AM »
 Brad, THANK YOU VERY MUCH. You're story is GREAT. I'm glad you told it. Now we all have a much better idea of "How It All Began", in this case for Brad Y., aka "signal73".

 We ALL got started somehow. Like you, I wasn't too good of a reader either. But way back in the 1970s when "Report From Engine Co 82" came out, I had no problem reading that book from cover to cover - several times over. Same thing when the book "20,000 Alarms" came out. 

 Brad, aka "signal73", you've been a great contributor to this site, with your rundowns, photos, and now your story. You have helped me personally many times without hesitation when I needed a photo posted here.

 We all have our own stories of "How It All Began". I have mine to tell and I'll post it later. Of course some of the guys here have heard it about a dozen times already. But I guess one more time won't really hurt.

 I hope more guys will tell their stories of "How It All Began" too.

 GREAT Story Brad. THANK YOU.

Offline fdce54

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Re: How It All Began
« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2019, 11:34:55 AM »
"Happier than a fat kid in a buffet line". You had to bring Willy D into the story???

Offline Signal73

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Re: How It All Began
« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2019, 11:41:07 AM »
"Happier than a fat kid in a buffet line". You had to bring Willy D into the story???

Pig in Sh*t  Kid in a Candy store?  hows that lol  ;D ;)
Remember to take it coming in

Offline mikeindabronx

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Re: How It All Began
« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2019, 12:00:52 PM »
Brad, thanks for sharing

Offline JohnnyGage

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Re: How It All Began
« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2019, 02:10:57 PM »
Nice story Brad, I always enjoyed welcoming buffs when they came into quarters for it wasn't so long ago I walked in as a nervous kid tongue tied and mouth dry due to nerves, and remember how I was always treated very kindly.  I also made sure to welcome the new Proby who was usually a nervous wreck, too. These are good memories, if you think up more, please share!

Offline 68jk09

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Re: How It All Began
« Reply #7 on: April 19, 2019, 03:51:59 PM »
Great story Brad....Thanks for all your Rundown posts.

Offline manhattan

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Re: How It All Began
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2019, 08:16:35 PM »
Thanks for your story, Brad, and for your contributions to The Site.

 

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