Author Topic: My younger Buff years  (Read 498173 times)

Offline vbcapt

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1352
  • Gender: Male
Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #60 on: May 19, 2009, 10:42:25 PM »
You're very welcome !!
When you get promoted, it doesn't make your subordinates dumb

Nycfire.net

Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #60 on: May 19, 2009, 10:42:25 PM »

Offline *******

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 172
Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #61 on: May 21, 2009, 11:22:48 AM »
Was Captain of 82 from 9/1/73 to 5/18/76. Your stories bring back a lot of memories. You mentioned Angies, the deli across the street from qtrs. They had a daughter around 18 at that time. Not that great looking. The yardstick for the guys was when she started to look good, it was time to transfer. One of the guys in 31 did marry her, I think the marriage didn't last long. They were nice people. To steal a phrase, it was the best of times, the worst of times.

Offline nfd2004

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5151
  • Gender: Male
Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #62 on: May 21, 2009, 12:19:27 PM »
Capt, That is a "Great Story" from someone who actually was apart of it. Thank you very much for sharing that. I assume you"re retired now. Enjoy It !!!!! "You sure do Deserve It.

Offline nfd2004

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5151
  • Gender: Male
Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #63 on: May 23, 2009, 08:59:24 AM »
I recently was very fortunate to be in contact with a retired member of the FDNY who was on the job in the South Bronx during those busy "War Years". He went on the job in 1960 where he worked a Manhatten Engine Company. There were 215 Engine Companies at that time. His company was the Ninth busiest in the City. They did 1,000 runs, of which 700 were workers. For the FDNY, the workers are considered any false alarm where they are first due, plus the car fires, rubbish fires, and structural fires.
  Ten Years later he was fighting fires in the South Bronx. Engine 82 was doing 10,000 runs, of which 2,000 were structural fires, "NOT" counting false alarms. On night tours they didn"t expect to sleep. It was "just the norm'. It would be 20-30 runs a night with 3-4 structural fires. He was injured a total of 37 times during those years, of which three were broken bones. When he went to the South Bronx, the 41st Police Pct "called Fort Apache" was a good block. Three years later, the Pct was the only building still standing intact. He explained to me that the "War Years' actually started around 1964 and ended around 1978.
  This is NOT my story, but a story told to me by one of "The Greatest Generation of Firefighters" that was actually there. I hope he doesn"t mind me sharing this with others. I appreciate him sharing it with me.

Offline dillondotcom

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 200
Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #64 on: May 23, 2009, 11:50:24 AM »
NFD2004 those were some great stories.  Thank you so much for sharing them, I really enjoyed reading them.  You wrote them so well that I could picture the events in my mind.  I am now a firefighter in the South Bronx and work in some of the areas you describe in your stories.  There are a few senior men left that were around for those days, or came on at the tail end of it.  And the stories they tell are very similar to yours.  It amazes me to think there was a time like that. They would tell me that when they went to work, it wasnt if they were going to a fire, but when, and how many. Again, thank you for taking the time to share your stories.

Offline nfd2004

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5151
  • Gender: Male
Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #65 on: May 23, 2009, 09:26:55 PM »
dilliondotcom, I thank you very much for those comments. I wanted to share with others, what I was around to see. And to try to give some credit to the firefighters of those days that fought fires day after day. For me this is just words. But for those Firefighters of the FDNY, it was "Actions". Most people actually had "no idea" of the danger these guys were throwing themselves into day after day, night after night. Just recently on a buff trip, I was hanging around Crotona Park. An older gentleman started talking to me. (In fact he was almost as old as my friend "johnd248" who used to ride with E248). Anyway, he had lived on Fulton Ave in the Bronx and left in the early 60s. He had heard about the War Years Fires, but this was his first time back. We had a great conversation. He told me how it was then, and I told him some of my stories. We both sat on those benches at the tennis courts in Crotona Park for a few hours telling each other our own South Bronx experiences. I think I had even shut my scanner off at the time. That"s something I never do when I"m in the Bronx or the other Boro"s. It was just so interesting to hear him talk of The Bronx in those days. In such a short period of time it had changed so much.
  For any of the senior men around in your firehouse or the other companies, if they were around for the War Years, it didn"t matter what company they were in. Everybody caught work. With maybe few exceptions you would end up spending most nights in the busy area"s of the City because you would end up being relocated there. I always joked with my buddies, I said: "if I can get a few of these guys together, all they"d have to do is talk, and the beers are on me".
   Mr Dillion, you are on probadly the "BEST Fire Dept in the World". I know that because I still buff and see the job you and your brothers do. I think the busy "War Years" are History. I don"t think any department will ever come close to the workload of that time. I retired a few years ago from a small city in Connecticut. When I was on the job, "I Loved it". But now I"m on the outside looking in. I have the Highest Respect for the Firefighters of today, because, even in a small city, I know how tough and dangerous the job can be. I have a lot of friends out there on the job in various cities today. Now it is their turn to protect those citizens. It may not be the "War Years" but you can bet, the fires will continue.

Offline johnd248

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3732
  • Aux. Lieut. at E. 248 1964-73
Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #66 on: May 23, 2009, 09:44:00 PM »
I remember going on a run in the late 60s with the 41st Battalion; it was really a 33 Batt. box but they were out and the 41 was special called.  It was a really long response and we arrived to a working fire in a two story PD.  As we arrived, neighbors stated they had not seen the occupant in a few days.  This was relayed to the truck companies for search purposes.  The chief and I entered the house and a truckie said: "she's over here."  I instinctly turned around and saw a balloon-type body, looking like a mannequin, on the living room couch.  The body had ballooned from all of the heat, but we couldn't determine whether she died as a result of the fire or prior to it.  The initial feeling was to feel sorry for the deceased but that soon faded as we walked through the rest of the house.  You couldn't put a foot down without stepping on a liquor bottle or beer can.  In the second floor bedroom, soiled sheets were taken to the foot of the bed but never actually removed.  On the bureau, the NY Daily News was open as if someone was in the middle of reading it, but it was two years old.  In all of my years of firefighting, it was the only fire death I ever experienced but I remember it to this day.

Offline guitarman314

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5621
    • Photobucket
Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #67 on: May 23, 2009, 10:12:34 PM »
   One of the programs that was instituted during the "War Years" was "Interchange" which had busy companies swap response districts with quieter ones. In the case of E60 & L17, we would see E260 and L117, Long Island City and Astoria units come in to spell them. I remember E94 getting relieved by either E295 or 297. On some of the busiest nights I remember E 143rd St. between Alexander and Willis Avenues lined up with apparatus from all over the city staged as 2nd, 3rd and even 4th sections of E60 and L17. This kind of "Staging" was also happening at E58/L26 and E82/L31.

Offline nfd2004

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5151
  • Gender: Male
Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #68 on: May 23, 2009, 11:04:45 PM »
I remember hearing stories that when units were called by I believe, the Division Deputy Chief and asked how many runs they had the night before, the officers might have stretched the truth a little. To qualify for an "interchange" with a somewhat quieter company I believe the busy rig would have to do 20 runs the night before. Rumor has it that nobody from the busy company wanted to go to the slower company for the night. As a result, a lot of officers would tell the Deputy Chief, "I think we did 18 runs last night" or "I think we did 19 runs last night". So that way, they wouldn"t leave to exchange firehouses with the slower company on the Interchange. They didn"t want to leave the action. That is rumor that I had heard.

Offline svd385

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 381
  • Gender: Male
  • If you're not the lead dog the view never changes
Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #69 on: May 24, 2009, 02:48:18 AM »
I started buffing in 1968 after joining the local Volly house that was still active in The Bronx.  At that time one of the people I hung out with introduced me to her uncle who was a FDNY Lieutenant, on light duty and was in charge of the Aux. Fire Corps in The Bronx.  He signed me up so I could officially ride.  Additionally he took me to a few different houses and introduced me to both the men and the officers, which opened several doors for chances to ride.  He also introduced me to one of the dispatchers at The Bronx Co., dispatcher #20 who was very active in the auxiliary as well and between them they would arrange, by invitation, training sessions with detailed MPO's and fire fighters who would bring the old CD Ward La France Engines for us to work with.  Between these 2 gentlemen and a few neighbors who were on the job opened riding opportunities at several different houses.  From late 1968 through 1977 when I moved from the city I rode with E96/L54, E94/L48, E64/L47, E89/L50 and E61.  I will always remember just how great a bunch of guys were in those houses and how well I was treated by them.
I'm not sure if life's trying to pass me by or run me over

Offline *******

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 172
Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #70 on: May 24, 2009, 08:04:20 AM »
Interchange.  Interchange started when the Chief of Department, John T. O'Hagan was invited to have dinner with the members of E82/L31, late 60's. O'Hagan was a friend of the Captain of 31 then, Bob Farrell. Farrell was a firefighter in L4 when O'Hagan was a BC in the 9th Batt. Farrell had rescued a trapped transit worker at a 5th alarm at the 42nd street subway during his time in L4. I believe he received the Bennett medal. The night "O'Hagan came for dinner the dinner never happened. The companies were in and out constantly, finally had a good job and never got to eat. This affected O'Hagan and the idea of interchange was born. It was runs and work time that triggered a interchange either that night or the next. I don't remember now what was what. When I was in 50 engine we would interchange with 43 engine on interchange. When I then went to 82 interchange was being used by the city to keep our workload down so the unions could not demand additional 2nd sections. It would go like this. Monday 6x9 we would interchange with E295 in Queens. Tuesday 6x9 Sq. 2 would run 1st section of 82 from 1900 to 0100 hours. Wednesday we would interchange with E297 in Queens on the 6x9. Thursday the Sq. would again be first up from 1900 to 0100 hours. This was all scheduled, we had no choice. On the nights Sq. ran first due for us we usually didn't see them much as they would be out at a job so we just ran as usual. Even with this work reduction program 82 was still doing 6-7,000 runs and 1700 hrs. of structural work time for the year. I didn't mind the interchange to much as I was studying for BC and the study time in Queens helped. They were interesting days.

Offline nfd2004

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5151
  • Gender: Male
Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #71 on: May 24, 2009, 08:56:13 AM »
*******, Thank You for the info on the Interchange Program. I really wasn"t aware of how it started and how it was done. I didn"t realize that a schedule was set up, and the reason behind it. I"m glad you joined in. As I was sometimes referred to by a few coworkers in the firehouse as "Mister Buffster", even the "Buffster" himself, doesn"t have all the answers.

Offline nfd2004

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5151
  • Gender: Male
Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #72 on: May 24, 2009, 09:57:21 AM »
Without getting in trouble here, I believe there is a series of Three DVDs (Vol 1, 2, 3) out there that can still be purchased from the "War Years". I don"t believe they have sound, but they do show some of the jobs during those days, with the equipment used during that time. I"m sure there are a few web sites out there where they can be purchased. I believe the entire set must be purchased together and probadly sells for about $80.00. I"m sorry to say though that "no profits go into my pocket".

    Correction on the above: I just played Vol 2 and it does have sound. Showed scenes from The Blackout 1977, plus a few other jobs around 1968. Interesting to see "no bunker gear, very few air packs, and some of the Greatest Generation of Chiefs and Firefighters in action".
« Last Edit: May 24, 2009, 07:48:12 PM by nfd2004 »

Offline johnd248

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3732
  • Aux. Lieut. at E. 248 1964-73
Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #73 on: May 25, 2009, 09:12:48 PM »
Another blast from the past.  While riding with Batt. 41 in Flatbush (Brooklyn) as the aide to the aide, we responded to a fire in Engine 250's first due area.  The fire was in a huge pile of debris outside an OMD.  The first floor tenant had renovated his apartment and put all of the debris outside, next to the building.  Somehow(??) the debris ignited and we used 2 and 2 to extinguish the fire.  The first due truck, Ladder 147, wanted to make entry into the first floor apartment to check for possible extention of the fire.  The tenant, proud of his newly spruced up home, refused to let the truck into the apartment.  The confrontation became rather vocal and loud with a certain amount of pushing and shoving.  The chief and I were in the hallway observing at this point.  The tenant was a rather short man of hispanic origin and was surrounded by an officer and six firefighters who were all over six feet tall.  The chief told me to go outside and see if there was a cop in front of the building; quite surprisingly there was and I asked him to come in for some assistance.  The cop walked up behind the tenant and tapped him on the shoulder; the tenant, who had reached his limit and assumed the person tapping him was another firefighter, whirled around and in one motion laid a punch on the chin of the policeman.  As the cop fell to the floor, the tenant was immediately pounced upon by the truckies.  When they were through, the mis-guided tenant was placed in handcuffs and hauled away.  You really had to be there to see the whole event; fortunately no firefighters were injured.

Offline nfd2004

  • Global Moderator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5151
  • Gender: Male
Re: My younger Buff years
« Reply #74 on: May 25, 2009, 09:34:55 PM »
Thanks John, that"s the story you told me the other day. I"m glad you told it here.
   Back in those busy day"s I"d get to see up close some of "The Best Truck Work" ever done on the roofs of those 5 and 6 brick "H" type MDs. I would usually go up to the Exposure 2 or 4 building roof area and from there see those Truckies really go to work with those saws and hooks. Hard to believe but, NO air packs, and some guys even had combat boots on instead of the 3/4 rubber boots. You"d hear 2 or 3 saws singing as they made the roof cuts and would make trench cuts. The guys with hooks would be pulling up the roof and pushing down the plaster. All this under a heavy smoke condition. Then you"d see the effects of the vent cuts as the smoke cleared and the flame would rise through the opening. In a few seconds later came a couple shots of water, and the flames disappeared under a white smoke cloud. These guys showed how ventilation should be done and the effects of good ventilation. Although there were books written on ventilation, and I"m sure some were Excellent, nothing showed anybody better than to watch these guys in Action. They sure knew how to do their stuff.