Author Topic: Squad 41 First Due Area  (Read 9219 times)

Offline fdhistorian

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Re: Squad 41 First Due Area
« Reply #30 on: September 01, 2014, 11:25:14 PM »
That’s an excellent question, manhattan.  In reading articles about department activities many decades ago, it seems as if the unions, the media, the politicians, and the general public were much more trusting or accepting of the workings of government.  Or it could simply be that reactions to government actions were not considered as part of the news.  Media reporting was mostly objective – “The facts, Ma’am, just the facts.”  A station or company closure was reported as a factual occurrence and reporters did not seek out public opinion.  The editorial page was still distinct from the front page.

What changed?  In the late 60’s, beginning with the Watts riots, firefighters and fire apparatus became targets of violence.  Sociologists called it a ‘disconnect’ with the community, as if it was the Fire Department’s fault that drew the bricks and bottles.  One approach towards a solution was to encourage a sense of community, hence, the ‘neighborhood firehouse.’  Don’t mess with the firemen – they belong to your neighborhood.

That worked well – so well that when a station or company was closed or re-deployed, some neighborhoods rose up to defend “their firehouse.”  The media had also transitioned from reporting facts to reporting feelings.  “How do you feel about your neighborhood firehouse being closed?”  What exactly were they expecting people to say?  “Not in my back yard!”  Protests and demonstrations make great news stories.

In the first half of the 1900’s, company closures were still largely due to technology.  Horse drawn apparatus was replaced by motorized equipment and old, small stations were consolidated into larger, more centralized buildings.  The public recognized those changes as progress.  Closures due to firefighter workweek hour reductions were often balanced by hiring additional firefighters or by union support of larger company crews.  It wasn’t until closures were caused primarily by budgetary shortfalls that the public started becoming vocal about their concerns.

The most recent company closures following the stock market decline in 2008 have been protested with whimpers compared to outrage.  City fathers now present the issue as a choice – close the firehouse or we can raise your taxes.  Makes people think twice before protesting.

These are just my opinions based on historical research of departments around the country.  No doubt there are many other reasons why sometimes the community cares about the local firehouse and other times they do not.

Nycfire.net

Re: Squad 41 First Due Area
« Reply #30 on: September 01, 2014, 11:25:14 PM »

Online nfd2004

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Re: Squad 41 First Due Area
« Reply #31 on: September 02, 2014, 07:58:28 AM »
"fdhistorian", thank you for that report. What you say is very true.

 I can remember when one of the Engine Companies was closed in Brooklyn. The people fought that closure and that firehouse in Brooklyn became known as "The Peoples Firehouse". The citizens in that neighborhood actually "chained themselves together" inside that firehouse, along with the on duty members.  As a result of their action, that firehouse and company was kept open.

  As I remember, their response was limited to a first alarm assignment area. They would not leave that area. That company became known as FDNYs Squad 1 of the "Peoples Firehouse". I remember reading articles about it in magazines like Firehouse. It became a world wide known firehouse because of what the citizens did in order to keep it open.

  Sometime later there was talk of closing then Engine 41. But in an effort to keep that firehouse open, Engine 41 became what was called "Enhanced Engine 41", with additional duties similar to a Rescue Company covering the South Bronx and Harlem. It was assigned on working fires, extrication, etc throughout that area. As I understand it, our site member "68jk09" was one of the first Lts and site member "69mets" was one of the first members to organize that company into what today is called "Squad 41".

  I hope I've given the facts correctly. I'm sure I've only scratched the surface of what went on and I hope I presented it correctly from what I know.

Offline mack

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Re: Squad 41 First Due Area
« Reply #32 on: September 02, 2014, 12:01:40 PM »
World War II - NYFP:

The NYFP provided extended support to FDNY during WWII to assist with manpower shortages die to FDNY members entering military service.  They provided manpower support and had an operational understanding with FDNY.  I believe NYFP units operated during WWII directly under the control of FDNY at working fires and multiples.  They responded with multiple NYFP companies to provide additional support and overhaul capabilities.

Quads: 

Engine and ladder companies which were supplied quint apparatus definitely resembled a more advanced squad concept than the actual squad companies of the 1950s era which responded in vans and Metro trucks.  The WWII and 1950s squads were manpower units which preformed either engine or truck duties at fires - but did not have apparatus and equipment to work with.  They could not operate independently.  The engine and truck companies in the 1950s who were assigned quad apparatus (there were about 5 or 6 WLF quads) performed either engine or truck duties and had appropriate apparatus, pump, hose and tools to do so.  If Engine 152 arrived 1st due, members could perform ladder duties and continue to do so when truck companies arrived or switch over to engine duties.  Ladder 76 could stretch a line and perform independently as an engine company duties, especially during brush fire season. 


Rescue 5:

Rescue 5 in the 1950s was a combination company - Ladder 78 truck company or  Rescue 5.  They were either/or, and were assigned a tiller ladder truck and a converted WLF hose wagon.  The members enclosed the apparatus to resemble the other rescue companies.  Ladder 78 had had an officer and 7 or 8 FFs assigned and responded with either, not both, rigs.  They would operate as a truck if assigned as a ladder company or as the rescue if assigned as Rescue 5. 


Combos:

The combined fire companies of the 1970s had full engine and truck crews and responded with both engine and truck apparatus but eliminated an officer.  They had 4 captains assigned to respective firehouses to replace the 2 captains and 6 lieutenants previously assigned when they were respective engines and trucks.  They were very inflexible.  An engine-only special call for a minor trash or grass fire required full response of combined engine and truck vehicles and crews.  It also presented problems for a truck-only special call or multiple alarm assignment,

Offline manhattan

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Re: Squad 41 First Due Area
« Reply #33 on: September 03, 2014, 09:57:38 PM »
fdhistorian - Thanks for your response to my question. 

 

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