Author Topic: My younger Buff years  (Read 443413 times)

Offline 1261Truckie

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Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #1695 on: June 11, 2018, 11:06:53 AM »
During the "Adaptive Response" times, some truck companies rode with 7 guys and 2 of them were assigned as the "above fire team" taking the place of the 2nd due truck.

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Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #1695 on: June 11, 2018, 11:06:53 AM »

Offline mack

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Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #1696 on: June 12, 2018, 11:31:05 AM »
Tactical Control Units: TCUs worked 37 1/2 hrs; report for duty at 1430 hrs at a firehouse in an outlying area; 30 minutes to drive w/assigned apparatus to quarters they operate from; in service as a conventional engine or truck until 0030 hrs; 30 minutes to drive back to firehouse where their apparatus is stored; work 3 shifts and then 85 hrs off; 5% night differential for all hrs; all members volunteers and interviewed and selected for  their firefighting experience, attitude, appearance, background and knowledge; an officer and 7 firefighters in TCU trucks; an officer and 6 firefighters in TCU engines; all engine and ladder companies in adaptive response areas have rosters of 31 firefighters and staffed with a minimum of 6 firefighters at all times;  increased staffing to match 2 engine and 1 truck adaptive response; all non-firefighting details would be covered from an administrative quota of firefighters to maintain minimum unit manning.
« Last Edit: June 12, 2018, 05:10:25 PM by mack »

Offline 1261Truckie

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Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #1697 on: June 17, 2018, 01:28:19 PM »
50 years ago, when I turned 18, I went to the quarters of E-280 (a place I had hung out since I was a little kid), introduced myself to Lt. Bennie Poholsky, the FDNY Fire Auxiliary Training Officer (he replaced Lt. Bill Mulligan) and joined the F.D.N.Y. Fire Auxiliary Corps. After attending a training class a night for 6 or 8 weeks (most at 280 with one at 257) and a Saturday session at the Brooklyn Terminal Market (complete with a CD pumper, hose, water and tools), I was assigned to E-280. Equipped with a hand-me-down helmet (found in 280's basement), a canvas turnout coat (bought from the guy on Dumont & Rockaway who modified and sold Midwestern coats) and a pair of hand-me down boots (from 132's basement), I was ready and rarin' to go.
A few months later, when 280 had a CD engine for a spare and there was no room to ride with them, I crossed the floor (actually went through the hole in the wall) and rode with 132. It was what we called "Amateur Night" (groups 23 to 3 were working and that meant we had a covering officer because the regular officers went not assigned). That night it was easy to convince the covering Lt. that I was assigned to the truck and the guys had no problem with me riding with them. One of them lent me a 132 insert. I formally transferred to 132 after that and continued to ride with the truck until I left the Auxiliaries in 1975.
That was a great house with some great guys. Fire duty was steadily increasing in our area, relocations to places like 120 and 111 brought more work and the Kitchen provided an education.
The lessons I learned during those years have stayed with me for life and have provided an endless amount of memories and stories. Those were indeed the good old days. 

Offline johnd248

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Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #1698 on: June 17, 2018, 04:22:44 PM »
Amen to that Jim.  I received my training at E 280 also but in early 1964.  Rode with E 248 and B 41 until 1973.  Fantastic memories which I frequently pass on to younger firefighters.  My first gear was Civil Defense stuff: awful yellow plastic helmet, yellow coat, and yellow boots.  I eventually bought a FDNY turnout coat when the quartermaster was on the second floor of Pier A.  Obtained a leather helmet when one of the chiefs in B 41 left it behind when he retired.  I painted it yellow and later black when I was a volunteer in Fairfield, CT.  Still have it.  I still respond to calls 54 years later but let the kids do the interior work.

Offline nfd2004

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Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #1699 on: June 17, 2018, 06:53:03 PM »
 Several FDNY Auxiliary Firefighters (as well as members of the Fire Patrol) went on to become career firefighters throughout various cities.

 As I remember with the budget crisis looming over New York City and word of closing dozens of fire companies throughout the city, it was decided that the FDNY Auxiliary Firefighter program be abandoned. But what those Auxiliary Firefighters had learned during those very busy years would certainly pay off for a few.

 Three of the individuals that I know became firefighters in Bridgeport, Ct, as that city, like some many others, particularly in the northeast, began to see their own very busy War Years as neighborhoods burned out. 

 One had been an Auxiliary in Queens, another in Harlem, and another in the South Bronx. All very busy companies seeing their share of heavy fire duty. For these guys they were very well prepared for what was to come and they could often even predict the next areas of the city to burn. They all knew their stuff. All have since retired, including one who retired as B/C.

 All would readily admit that it was those busy FDNY years where they got to learn so much.

 Of course I know "johnd248" personally as we both served as volunteer firefighters years ago together. I recently met up with John and I got to tell you, no matter what he says, "I still think he could throw on some gear and an air pack, then drag a couple of lengths up to those upper floor jobs". 

 Thank you Charlie, aka "1261Truckie", as well. I appreciate hearing your story. I guess there's a big part of all of us that as young guys interested in the FDNY, we all grew up during the right time. We got to see for ourselves the Greatest Fire Dept in the World, during their Busiest years, do what they do best.

 I guess being old does have some advantages besides our Senior Citizens Discount at Dunken Donuts. We are NOT alone in how we feel either.

Offline mack

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Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #1700 on: June 18, 2018, 07:43:18 AM »
FDNY had a robust Auxiliary firefighting program that was initiated during World War II and then continued even broader during the Cold War era into the FDNY "War Years".  Auxiliaries were trained in firefighting skills to supplement fire units depleted by wartime service of department members.  Political leaders watched what happened in London during the war and were afraid that NYC might see similar attacks.  FDNY actually sent a chief and members to London during the air war to study the London Fire Brigade and to help. Following WW II and the Korean War, there was national concern about Cold War firefighting requirements and there were massive drives to recruit and train fire auxiliaries IN NYC. There was significant federal funding for CD fire apparatus and many WLF CD pumpers were purchased in the 1950s which remained in service for many years. Fire auxiliary members wore issued red helmets and black rubber coats.   Auxiliaries staffed the CD apparatus or rode with FDNY units.  There is an old WNYF article from the 1950s or 1960s which covered a large scale FDNY auxiliary pumper assistance trip to Danbury CT to help with flooding following a storm. There were still boxes of red helmets left in some firehouse cellars well into the 1960s. During the War Years, auxiliary members wore yellow helmets and assisted FDNY members with many duties riding as an extra member on apparatus.  As Bill said, many became members of FDNY, Fire Patrol, dispatchers, NYPD, members of other departments and volunteer firefighters in their communities.  I also read that the NY Fire Patrol also played a closer role assisting FDNY during World War II.  I believe they received fire suppression equipment and established a special reporting relationship to the FDNY fire commissioner during the war when FDNY companies were riding shorthanded.  FDNY established manpower squads during these periods of time, too.       
« Last Edit: June 18, 2018, 11:14:22 AM by mack »

Offline 68jk09

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Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #1701 on: June 21, 2018, 07:56:36 PM »
^^^^^^  Various Frontpieces were worn by AUX's....here is a later version after the helmets went from Red to  Yellow mid '60s because of Pressure from the NY Board Of Fire Underwriters (Fire Patrol)....it was also referred to as "FIRE EMERGENCY DIVISION".....   https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-FDNY-Firefighter-Cairns-Leather-5A-Fire-Helmet-Disbanded-Unit/173373413820?_trkparms=aid%3D222007%26algo%3DSIM.MBE%26ao%3D2%26asc%3D52473%26meid%3D7122c1bcb9af45ceacdc1f72a42bdded%26pid%3D100005%26rk%3D6%26rkt%3D12%26sd%3D332694018950%26itm%3D173373413820&_trksid=p2047675.c100005.m1851

Offline nfd2004

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Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #1702 on: October 19, 2018, 02:05:45 PM »
 It is hard for me to believe that my "First Introduction to the FDNY" was over 50 years ago. That was in the summer of 1968 and from what I understand, it was around the start of those very busy "FDNY War Years".

 I had been invited down to the quarters of Engine Co 210 and Rescue Co 2. From then on as an 18 year old buff, along with my 13 year old younger brother we were "hooked" as buffs of the FDNY. We spent a few night tours there and got our start right from the TOP. We were now introduced into the "Major Leagues of the entire fire service though out the country".

 Both my brother and I loved the fire department and from the time we were kids, that's all we both wanted. For a couple of kids like ourselves it was certainly the BEST Time to be around. As buffs, we couldn't have planned it any better.

 From Brooklyn's Eng 210/Rescue 2, we worked our way into the Harlem area, where we chased some of the busiest FDNY companies watching them fight fires. The numbered streets made it very easy for a couple of kids from outside the area to find their way around. GPS hadn't been invented yet. We only had maps to follow. But whether we were on 110th St or 145th St, once we learned a few North/South Aves, it was pretty easy then.

 I think around 1972 the book "Report from Engine Co 82" comes out. It tells about the busiest fire company in the world. By then, the area looked to be already bombed out. But over the next few years the fires continued to burn at a staggering rate. At times there are no fire companies to respond, despite many relocated companies into the area.

 Recently a few of us guys from this site got together. A couple wanted to stop by that very famous firehouse located on Intervale Ave near 169 St.

 Things of course look much different now. Angie's Market across the street has another name. Angie's did a great business during those days selling sandwiches and coffees to the dozens of buffs.
 There are no more vacant, burned out buildings or "blocks" in the area. Actually some nice homes within the firehouse. Back then I could have bought a vacant lot full of rubbish, burned out cars and dozens of rats for $1,000. No more $1,000 lots there now.

 But there were two things left that kind of reminded me of those days some 40 years ago. Southern Blvd under the elevated subway still seemed to have the character it once did back then. Some say the Bronx is bouncing back. Not around there as I see it.

 Another thing that caught my eye was a few blocks from 82/31 on Boston Rd was a two story commercial building with the windows covered in plywood, using cross members on the inside to secure it from intruders. That plywood also had the small triangle cut in it. I was once told that cut allows a ladder company to pull the plywood off. It also allowed some visibility from the outside. I hadn't seen that in awhile.

 We also stopped in the quarters of Engine 73/Ladder 42 on Prospect Ave. Back in the day Squad 2 also shared quarters there. This sites administrator, retired FDNY Captain Bendick had worked Squad 2 and many of us know him. Squad 2 would spend their night tours rotating between Engine 73, 82, and 85 (now closed).

 We also stopped by two other firehouses in the Bronx that day. Of course a lot has changed over those many years, including the names and faces. We appreciate the members inviting us in. And just as a lot of us did back then, we watched 82/31 leaving their quarters going out on a run.

 Thanks guys, we appreciate you taking the time to show us around and talk to us. I still consider you as the GREATEST some 40-50 years later.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2018, 08:37:19 PM by nfd2004 »

Offline Disp51

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Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #1703 on: October 19, 2018, 08:22:14 PM »
Auxiliary ID card issued in 1970





Offline nfd2004

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Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #1704 on: November 06, 2018, 10:21:25 AM »
 A friend passed this onto me. I believe it is the movie that had been mentioned on here earlier.

 I checked and tickets for the showing on Saturday November 10th at the SVA Theater have been sold out.

 It is also reported to be playing at the Cinepolis Chelsea from November 8 - 15th.

 Anybody have any more info on this ?

 Here is the link I've been sent.

 www.docnyc.net/film/decade-of-fire/

Offline manhattan

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Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #1705 on: November 08, 2018, 05:13:54 PM »
The Cinepolis Chelsea is located on 23rd Street, just east of Eighth Avenue.  It's about a five minute walk from where we'll have the Chelsea Veterans' Day Ceremony at 27th Street and Ninth Avenue at 1100 hours on Monday, 12 November.
« Last Edit: November 09, 2018, 03:09:05 PM by manhattan »

Offline doneleven

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Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #1706 on: November 09, 2018, 11:07:47 AM »
NFD...The windows you refer to were called HUD windows.  They consisted of a sandwich with plywood between 2x4's both inside and outside the window frame.  The outer 2x4 was shorter, but the inside 2x4 spanned beyond the frame.  They were all secured with carriage bolts, the head of which was visible through the outer 2x4.  The idea was to split the outer 2x4 if you could and/or shear off the head of the carriage bolt or drive it through the (hopefully) rotted plywood.  That would cause the inner, longer 2x4 to release. The sheet of plywood would then fall outwards, you'd catch it, spin it and throw it back into the room. Move onto the next window.  We had them all over the vacants of the Lower East Side, and they were seen citywide back then.  We didn't see the cut triangles you referred to....you took quite a beating before the plywood was removed.

Offline manhattan

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Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #1707 on: November 09, 2018, 11:33:33 AM »
The Cinepolis Chelsea is located on 23rd Street, just east of Eighth Avenue.  It's about a five minute walk from where we'll have the Chelsea Veterans' Day Ceremony at 17th Street and Ninth Avenue at 1100 hours on Monday, 12 November.

CORRECTION - - The Ceremony wil be at 27TH Street and Ninth Avenue.  Please pardon the error.

Offline nfd2004

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Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #1708 on: November 09, 2018, 03:56:02 PM »
NFD...The windows you refer to were called HUD windows.  They consisted of a sandwich with plywood between 2x4's both inside and outside the window frame.  The outer 2x4 was shorter, but the inside 2x4 spanned beyond the frame.  They were all secured with carriage bolts, the head of which was visible through the outer 2x4.  The idea was to split the outer 2x4 if you could and/or shear off the head of the carriage bolt or drive it through the (hopefully) rotted plywood.  That would cause the inner, longer 2x4 to release. The sheet of plywood would then fall outwards, you'd catch it, spin it and throw it back into the room. Move onto the next window.  We had them all over the vacants of the Lower East Side, and they were seen citywide back then.  We didn't see the cut triangles you referred to....you took quite a beating before the plywood was removed.

"doneleven", yes sir, there was NO Difference from the ghetto areas of the Lower East Side or the South Bronx. I remember those Lower East Side companies always being at the top of the list for runs and/or work too. Engine 28/Ladder 11 as an example.

 The Lower East Side had the same building conditions, the same when it came to ADVs and rubbish filled lots, as well as the same kind of people living in the area.

 For those who might not be aware of how it was, here is just a small sample of the day to day life of the Lower East Side. Sometimes referred to as "Alphabet City" due to it's Ave's "A", "B", "C", and "D".

  

Offline doneleven

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Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #1709 on: November 09, 2018, 04:46:26 PM »
Thank you for posting that clip, sir.  I had never seen it before.  Absolutely amazing footage of complete and total desolation..blocks and blocks of vacant buildings and empty lots.  Even more amazing however, is how they got that way.  At one time there were no vacants down there...no empty brick strewn lots.  What you see is the result of literally countless fires in an area roughly 18 blocks by five blocks.  How the City allowed this to happen virtually within walking distance of both the Financial District and even City Hall is a question for historians.  Literally every night of the week Second Street between Avenue B and Avenue C...the block we (Engine 28 Ladder 11) were quartered on, would be like San Gennaro...hundreds of people walking in the middle of the street selling and buying drugs.  New York magazine published an article alleging that the vacant building diagonally across from us recorded heroin sales of over $1 million each week.  And this was the 1970's!  It got so bad that someone in the company painted, with yellow traffic paint..."OD Crossing" between the building and the firehouse.  Truck companies weren't issued resuscitators in those days, only the battalion carried one.  We special called Battalion 4 so often they simply gave us their resuscitator.  Yes....those were "fun" days to be part of the FDNY back then...and I would not trade the memories for anything, but it was also tragic.  Many lives lost or ruined.  A once proud neighborhood which immigrants of all nationalities over the years used as a starting place in their new country destroyed.  On a funny note, I'd show firemen friends of mine pictures of the vacants and the lots....and one's reply was...."thought you guys were good down there.  Did you save ANYTHING?"....lol.  Be well.

 

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