Author Topic: My younger Buff years  (Read 466485 times)

Offline JOR176

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Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #1740 on: March 04, 2019, 08:16:28 PM »
Nice to have you here Dan.

Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #1740 on: March 04, 2019, 08:16:28 PM »

Offline 69 METS

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Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #1741 on: March 04, 2019, 10:47:12 PM »
Great memories shared Dan. I still recall working OT with you on midnight's at Liberty Outpost (Liberty 374?) prior to you going to DCFD and me going onto FDNY. Last time I saw you was at headquarters when we both were retiring.

Offline JohnnyGage

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Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #1742 on: March 05, 2019, 10:18:29 AM »
Thank you, thank you, thank you to all for your kind welcome, I am very happy to be a small part of this outstanding group. Thanks to Willy for reaching out to me a couple of years back. Some of the troops I have had the pleasure of meeting at Pepe's Pizza and swapping stories. I have followed many of your enjoyble contributions for some time which has helped satisfy that urge about years gone by. Special "Hello" to "69 Mets" Garrett whom I had the pleasure of meeting and working alongside in a "very bleak" NYC EMS bus (ambulance) back in the spring of 1978. We were two young bucks with dark hair sharing the same interest of the FDNY and awaiting our "hopeful" hiring. Together Garrett and I worked a memorable midnight to 8 tour and responded to numerous EMS calls in the notorious 75 PCT during their "heyday" in East New York (at that time there was only ONE ambulance to cover all that area). I had the pleasure to meet Garrett again in 2002 at a retirement conference. I hope you are enjoying your retirement in Florida Brother. Thanks again to all the troops for your welcome. Time for me to knuckle down and start posting some stories I hope you'll find interesting. KMG365, OUT.

Offline nfd2004

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Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #1744 on: March 17, 2019, 08:31:50 AM »
 I wish all the members here a very Happy St Patricks Day, 2019.

 Many years ago, I believe it was in 1978, I got to meet a FDNY Firefighter by the name of Charlie Summerland (spelling - ?) who was the chaffer of Ladder 40 in Harlem. We get talking and he tells me that he was in the service with my captain (Ken Murkett). So with that, he invites me down to the firehouse on West 125th St to join the members for a breakfast that they put on every year for St Patricks Day. But he also tells me to bring down some guys from the department as well and we will all march in the St Patricks Day Parade.

 So I bring down about a dozen guys, including my brother, who is also a firefighter in Bridgeport. We stay at an apartment owned by Capt Murkett's sister and her husband on Park Ave and 86th St on the 14th floor. It has a doorman, maid, about four bathrooms, and the place occupies the entire city block. Totally out of class for a group of firefighters living on a low to average pay scale. We were also offered dozens of sandwiches, cake, etc, all for us to enjoy. It was beyond First Class.

 The adults are away on some trip and only the live-in maid is there with their one child, who loves fire trucks. Of course a guy like me has no problem relating to that young kid and the toy fire trucks he has. We both hit it off GREAT, just like two kids in a sand box.

 Earlier that night, we all meet up at a place owned by a FDNY Firefighter. I think it was owned by Larry Fitzpatrick, who lost his life while doing a rope rescue of a trapped firefighter in upper Manhattan.

 We marched proudly with the FDNY and it was an HONOR to be apart of that with them. Earlier we all had been treated to a huge breakfast at 37/40's. I believe it was Engine 37, Lt Duffy (?) who was a part of the FDNY Bagpipe Band and he treated us great too. As I remember all the companies in the battalion stopped by at the firehouse for a quick bite.

 Those guys were great to us and we never forgot it. In fact, this morning - St Patricks Day 2019, that was the first thing my brother mentioned to me. About all of us being invited to 37/40's on that St Patricks Day. That was 40 or so years ago.

 Thank you to ALL those FDNY Members who invited about a dozen, young Connecticut Firefighters to be a part of your special day. WE NEVER FORGOT IT.

 Let me also add another story: This was passed onto me by our member "69 METS", aka Garrett L., a retired FDNY Member and a friend who I would like to THANK as well. It is an entire collection of FDNY War Years stories, photos, etc. I know that some of the members here are already aware of it, but I wanted to pass the link on for the others as well.

 I hope the link works. It's from Facebook.   
« Last Edit: March 17, 2019, 08:53:08 AM by nfd2004 »

Offline 8060rock

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Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #1745 on: March 17, 2019, 09:44:55 AM »
Bill Duffy L40 - founding member FDNY Pipe Band - still going strong I believe.
Charlie Sommerlad L40 - sadly, Charlie passed away in 2016.
Great guys - great firehouse - E37/L40
As they say "Life begins at 40"

Offline 1261Truckie

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Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #1746 on: March 17, 2019, 11:00:11 AM »
Charlie Sommerlad - transfer into 40 from 132. Rest in Peace, Charlie

Offline johnd248

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Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #1747 on: March 17, 2019, 01:55:07 PM »
I went to elementary school with a Charlie Sommerlad; wonder if it is the same one.

Offline JohnnyGage

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Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #1748 on: March 17, 2019, 03:27:39 PM »
Good story Willy about your St. Patricks day. Almost every firehouse in the city would have a huge breakfast before turning out for the parade. It was a long day!...Any out of town firefighter buffs that had visited the firehouse around St. Patricks day was always invited to join us. In Brooklyn we would take the subway into Manhatten, each stop would be loaded with firefighters heading in the same direction, in a few stops the train would fill with blue uniforms. Many times you would see out of town brothers joining too. I recall marching with a bunch of guys from Manchester NH and Wash DC. Usually each firehouse had it's "Irish joint" after the parade or head to the Armory, what an eye opener for some of our visitors as the party just began!...I had a Suffolk County Police Commander proudly wearing my green beret for most of the night. (Next day I found his business card inside it).

It was funny, as the parade proceeded up 5th Av, once you passed St. Patricks Church the marching brothers would begin to peel off side streets to hit their spot. I think I may have completed the whole parade once during my career.

St. Patricks parade was a great opportunity to catch up with brothers who were promoted, moved on, transferred or you just haven't seen in awhile. You never knew who you would run into and have an instant party. One year, when I had darker hair, me and two or three buddies started down 2nd Av trying out a few gin joints. We hit a bar filled to the brim with "transit cops". They took us in , cleared a path and moved us up front and center of the bar and bought us round after round of suds! One of many great times.

They were grand times, many times over... I'm done marching now and grateful for so many memories ...Today, everyone is Irish! Happy St. Patricks day to all!.....back now to my Irish Jameson Coffee...

« Last Edit: March 17, 2019, 09:41:58 PM by JohnnyGage »

Offline nfd2004

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Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #1749 on: April 18, 2019, 06:25:36 PM »
 My Younger Buff Years was started TEN Years Ago in April, 2009. I was hoping to tell a story about a young guy who chased the FDNY during their Busiest Years in History. We know them now as The FDNY War Years.

 As the stories went along, more guys joined in. They told of their experiences as members of the FDNY. Others during that time as buffs that saw for themselves how entire neighborhoods throughout many parts of New York City had been destroyed by fires. Sometimes there were no companies to respond because everybody else was fighting a fire somewhere in the city.

 People died. Firefighters died. Sometimes guys that were right in the center of it tell me that the city wanted that to happen so new more modern buildings would replace old tenements. We look around some of the once most scared areas and we see newer, more expensive buildings going up. Maybe they were right. At one time you couldn't give the property away.

Landlords burned their buildings to collect insurance money and get out of a deal that they didn't want anymore.

Tenants burned their own apartments so that they could move into a much nicer, newer place.

Juveniles set fires to buildings as a form of neighborhood entertainment.

There have been books written about it. There has been movies, documentaries, and videos posted that told about it. There's been photos and web sites that show it.

On this site only, there are several threads that contain stories of the FDNY War Years mostly in the History Section. Some of them are:

"The Peoples Firehouse" - 10/24/2017
"7-13-77 Blackout" - 7/13/2013
"The Waldbaums Fire" - 8/2/2016
"Squad Companies" - 3/8/2008
"Oh Those Busy Fourth of July's" - 7/4/2009
"Most Memorable" - 9/4/2016
"The War Years" - 4/22/2015
"War Years Tactics" - 2/26/2012
"Remembrance" - 9/2/2018

 There are others as well.
 I would like to recognize the members of this site that were directly a part of it that I know of.

 First of course the members of the FDNY, retired now:
  Chief Bob M., "*******"
  B/C Chief Jack K., "68JK09"
  Captain John B., "jbendick"
  Lt (?) John G., "turk132"
  Lt (?) Jim C., "147"

 There are many more FDNY War Years members who view this site too.

 FDNY Dispatchers who did an AMAZING Job trying to find companies to send to the fires going on all over the city:
  Warren F., "Voice of Brooklyn"
  Ken F., "atlas"
  Frank R., "fd347"

 FDNY Communications Division maintaining the Fire Alarm system;
   Jack O'R., "JOR176"

 Auxiliary War Years Firefighters and FDNY Buffs:
  Jim B., "1261 Truckie"
  Doug M., "AuxWarYearsCapt"
  John D., "johnd248"
  Steve D., "svd385"

 NYC guys who buffed during the FDNY War Years:
  Frank D., "fdce54"
  Mike D., "mikeindabronx"
  Tom E., "guitarman314"
  Joe W., "STAjo"
  Bill J., "Parkave32"
  Joe M., "mack"
  maybe - Frank M., "manhattan"

 The above individuals all had a part in the FDNY War Years during their everyday lives. Many have contributed to tell their story. They represent some of my BEST friends and it all started with this thread called "My Younger Buff Years".

 Although they have never actually been recognized for the work they've done, the 1980s and 1990s continued to be very busy years for the FDNY, NYPD, and EMS. As an observing buff, parts of New York City continued to burn. It just moved to different areas.

 ERS boxes replaced many pull boxes.
 Bunker gear replaced Turnout Gear.
 F.A.S.T. Ladder Co's replaced F.A.T. (Firefighter Assist Team) Engine Co's.

 In March, 1990 a tragic fire in New York City occurred at a place called "Happy Land" in the Bronx. An arson fire killing 87 people.

 Today we have retired members of the FDNY who were a part of those busy 1980s and 1990s who frequent this site. As a buff during that time, I saw the amount and kind of work those guys did.

 Buildings continued to burn. Many of which had their windows now bricked up with cement cinder blocks.
 The fires would get more of a start before somebody sees it.
 More heat and heavy smoke throughout the building on arrival.
 A full sized sledge hammer would be need to vent each window block by block as members were moving in.
 Much more difficult to escape once inside.

 Besides the FDNY War Years members already mentioned, guys who were a part of those busy two decades of fires (80s/90s) were:
  Garrett L., "69METS"
  Dan P., "JohnnyGage"
  Dan K., "8060Rock"
  Jay W., "hosewagon"

 The same goes for the NYC-EMS, later to merge with the FDNY. Members here were:
  Charlie T., "memorymaster"
  Tom B., "tbendick"

 I know there's so many more names that I should add to this list. So many more who were a part of it. We all appreciate your work and what you've done here for us. 
« Last Edit: April 18, 2019, 10:18:34 PM by nfd2004 »