Author Topic: Remembrance  (Read 6422 times)

Offline *******

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #45 on: April 15, 2019, 11:55:19 AM »
This will probably be my last post to this thread as I have run out of any worthwhile remembrance from my years in the department. I was once asked once what I thought was my greatest achievement after these 37 years. My answer was simple and easy, that after my tours all my guys went home. But that was a gift from above as my leadership/experience factored little as luck played the main role so many times in why we went home. I held every rank/grade in the department from probationary firefighter to acting Chief of Department (fire emergency response not administrative). Thinking hard I believe there were two times I made a difference that last till today and will tomorrow, one a fire and the second a paper request.

I made Deputy in 1980 and was covering a vacation tour in the 11th Division. I relieved the 9 bye chief (Chief Hoyler, RIP) one night and talking to him he told me that he had a job that tour and pulled his guys out of the building moments before there was a collapse. He said to me "when in doubt pull them out." It wasn't that tour but a few night tours later when I responded to a second alarm for a commercial garage fire. I don't remember the box or avenue in Brooklyn only that it was a major wide avenue. When we pulled up we were across the street from the fire building. The building was a one and a half story taxi garage. There was heavy fire in the cockloft and through the roof. There were 4 firefighters on the roof operating. An engine company had a 2 1/2" line through a large overhead roll-up door hitting the fire, with heavy fire on the half story mezzanine office showing. As I got out of the car a Battalion Chief was running by checking on the exposures. At that exact moment I heard Hoyler saying, that gift from above, "when in doubt pull them out." I yelled to the BC, get the guys off the roof and back that hand-line out. No argument he immediately gave the orders. If asked I couldn't really give an intelligent operational reason why I pulled the guys out at that moment, I was just told to.  As I was putting on my gear the line was out on the sidewalk and the last firefighter on the roof was swinging onto the aerial to descend. At that moment the roof firefighter yelled out that "hey the roof just collapsed."  Two thirds of the roof came down in less than a second. Fortunately I will never know but I believe that we would have lost the four on the roof and three or four on the line. The fire went to a 4th, everyone went home.

Around 1992 I received a call from D.C. Tom Kennedy who was the President of the FDNY Chief's Association.  I knew Tom well as he was a firefighter in 31 truck when I was the Captain of 82. Tom said to me that the Association was going to ask the Mayor and City Council to enact a life saving Residential Sprinkler law for the city. Tom asked me if I would write a support paper to be forwarded with the law request. I said sure and did so. The first time submitted the request was turned down, after much objection from building owners etc. Recently there was a fire in one of Trump's buildings. The building had no sprinkler protection and Trump had been one of the major voices opposing the law. A few years later with lost firefighter lives in a residential building fire the  Fire Chief's Association resubmitted the law request and it was passed and became law. I believe today a residential building under construction in the city with 3 or more apartments requires automatic sprinkler protection. I will always be thankful that I had a small part in this laws enactment.


 

Nycfire.net

Re: Remembrance
« Reply #45 on: April 15, 2019, 11:55:19 AM »

Offline raybrag

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #46 on: April 15, 2019, 12:39:05 PM »
This will probably be my last post to this thread as I have run out of any worthwhile remembrance from my years in the department.

Chief, I certainly hope that will not be the case.  Every post you have made (and I've read them all) has been interesting, informative, and an easy read.  While you may think you're out of stories at the moment, I'd be willing to bet that there are many more that you'll think of in the upcoming days.  As to whether they are worthwhile . . . I don't think I'd be alone in saying just about anything you have to say about the FDNY and firefighting in general is well worth listening to.  Thank you, sir.
Ray Braguglia
Newport News VA


Offline nfd2004

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #47 on: April 15, 2019, 02:30:07 PM »
This will probably be my last post to this thread as I have run out of any worthwhile remembrance from my years in the department.

Chief, I certainly hope that will not be the case.  Every post you have made (and I've read them all) has been interesting, informative, and an easy read.  While you may think you're out of stories at the moment, I'd be willing to bet that there are many more that you'll think of in the upcoming days.  As to whether they are worthwhile . . . I don't think I'd be alone in saying just about anything you have to say about the FDNY and firefighting in general is well worth listening to.  Thank you, sir.

 Chief, with OVER 5,000 views since you started writing these stories in September, 2018, "raybrag" is not alone in reading your stories. We all have been interested in following your stories. You are a member of The Greatest Generation of Firefighters, who was the Captain of the Busiest Engine Co ever. So busy that they even wrote a Best Selling Book about it called: "Report from Engine Co 82".

 I have had the privilege and honor of meeting you when you made a special trip to Bayside Queens. I remember talking to you. In fact, I probably remember just about every word you said to me that day.

 During those busy years I learned a lot. I learned from the best by watching what guys like you did the best. I learned about life's best and worst conditions. As you so often say; "They were the Best and the Worst of Years".

 I'm sure there are many guys here that might like to hear where you worked during your years with the FDNY. As we have seen in the past here, sometimes there could be a connection between guys who never knew that before.

 Your stories and contributions have made this site what it is today. We are all very fortunate to have you as a part of it.

 THANK YOU Chief. 

 
« Last Edit: April 15, 2019, 02:49:42 PM by nfd2004 »

Offline 68jk09

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #48 on: April 15, 2019, 02:45:50 PM »



^^^^^  ******* I hope this not your last post....i would think that a post someone puts up might bring back another recollection.










Offline grumpy grizzly

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #49 on: April 15, 2019, 02:49:33 PM »
I agree 100% with "raybrag" and "nfd 2004", please continue with your posts. Information and experience that is locked away is of no good to anyone. We must learn from the experience and knowledge of others. And you sir fit that bill.
FAC 20 TASS 68-69 SVN. Hue/PhuBai , Boston Spark from 71-79, Chicago 79-15, Bloomington/Normal 2015- present

Offline *******

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #50 on: April 15, 2019, 03:07:08 PM »
Thanks guys, but, I'm not going to stick my head in a gas oven yet or jump from a tall building. I hope to post on other threads when/if I have anything to contribute. My wife refuses to stand for a roll call for me any longer so, you guys are my best connection(s) to a job I loved and a occupation, calling, that I'm very proud of, and you guys.

Offline hosewagon

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #51 on: April 15, 2019, 05:01:21 PM »
Chief, your posts are filled with a wealth of great history, knowledge and experience, and I always look forward reading and learning from them! I couldn't agree with you more, regarding sometimes we just get lucky. I often left a tough job and thought, did we just get lucky, or was their some divine intervention at work with us tonight. It does take a knowledgeable and experienced chief in charge of a good job to stay ahead of deteriorating fire conditions, and to know when its time to keep the aggressive push going, or to pull us out. As a company officer nothing was more reassuring to me, than when operating at a good job to have an extremely competent chief over seeing operations. At company drills after going over our operations at good jobs, I would go over what the chief's perspective might have been from the street, often much different from ours on the fire floor. Thank You Again Chief for your posts, and for the years of getting the men home safe. Many of those men, have sons on the job today.

Offline memory master

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #52 on: April 15, 2019, 05:55:59 PM »
Last Post? You'll stay on duty until properly relieved, with all due respect of course Sir. ;D

Offline manhattan

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #53 on: April 15, 2019, 11:15:30 PM »
I'm in full agreement!

Offline CFDMarshal

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #54 on: April 16, 2019, 08:20:30 AM »
Chief, stories that we think may be boring, uneventful or mundane many times capture the interest or make the biggest impact on the reader. Please, never stop telling your story! This holds true for many on this site!

Offline 1261Truckie

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #55 on: April 16, 2019, 09:31:39 AM »
Chief,
You and several others here keep the history of the FDNY alive, particularly the Era known as "The War Years". It is very important that you and the others keep writing about this period because as we have seen, the newest generations have a way of forgetting, or at least diminishing, what happened in the past.
Please keep sharing your stories with us.
Jim B (aka 1261truckie)

Offline manhattan

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #56 on: April 17, 2019, 01:43:54 AM »
Chief,

One thing I’d like to point out.  If I’ve missed it being said, please accept my apology.

As I understand it, a number of the members on this site are active Firefighters. I’m sure that they take with them a lot more than “war stories” after reading your memoirs.  What you contribute here may well keep people alive or unhurt when one of your lessons kicks in when someone is wondering if he should pull his people off the roof because of a gut instinct or any of a million other circumstances.  Your story-telling abilities are wonderful, but remember that they also carry “Lessons Learned” that can not only keep Firefighters alive and uninjured but also serve the people of the City of New York. 

And I’d ask all the other experienced contributors to keep that in mind. You’re each a very valued contributor and educator.

This isn’t merely a site for living vicariously, it’s more an educational site.

Offline nfd2004

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #57 on: April 17, 2019, 06:45:34 AM »
Chief,

One thing I’d like to point out.  If I’ve missed it being said, please accept my apology.

As I understand it, a number of the members on this site are active Firefighters. I’m sure that they take with them a lot more than “war stories” after reading your memoirs.  What you contribute here may well keep people alive or unhurt when one of your lessons kicks in when someone is wondering if he should pull his people off the roof because of a gut instinct or any of a million other circumstances.  Your story-telling abilities are wonderful, but remember that they also carry “Lessons Learned” that can not only keep Firefighters alive and uninjured but also serve the people of the City of New York. 

And I’d ask all the other experienced contributors to keep that in mind. You’re each a very valued contributor and educator.

This isn’t merely a site for living vicariously, it’s more an educational site.

 "manhattan", you make an excellent point. Something that probably many of us here don't even consider. Reading some of these stories could actually save lives.

 

Offline *******

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #58 on: April 17, 2019, 10:23:42 AM »
It would be great if what we write on this site could save a life, or a home. Unfortunately though we can't teach "go with your gut." My first days, fires, in the FDNY my gut was saying to me "what the hell am I doing here?" Your gut grows as your experience grows. Will your gut always be right, of course not. I remember an early morning fire in 82, was a first floor restaurant fire in a 5 story residential building. We were first due. We could see flame burning behind the front show window of the restaurant, not a lot of flame just flickering. Going through the restaurant front door was a 30 foot hallway and then a right turn into the restaurant proper. We got water, bled the line, 31 forced the door. As we were going to advance the hallway "gut" said wait. My nozzle-man was Mike Hartnett. I grabbed Mike's shoulder and said "wait." Two seconds later there was a back-draft, the hallway was all fire rolling out to the street. Later Mike (he retired as a Deputy Chief) asked me "how did you know?" didn't have an answer. Gut was right. Battalion Chief in the 10th Battalion 1977. Early morning fire 90th Street and 1st Ave.Fire was in the cellar  of a 5 story tenement with the first floor a hardware store. 13 truck forced the outside cellar street doors. Some fire was venting from the cellar. Fire was red but had a blue and green color mixed in with the red. Gut said wait, possible gas fed fire. Held the line back and had 13 shut off the curb gas building valve, took about 5 or 6 minutes to do so. After the valve was shut the time delay led now to heavy fire venting from the cellar doors. Fire went to a 3rd, took the building. Later that morning I observed an elderly woman standing in the crowd outside the building, she was crying. I asked her if she was O. K. She said that she had lived in the building for 50 years, first home with her new husband, raised her family here. Husband was gone, kids grown and gone, now so was her home. If I had allowed the line to advance immediately I believe 22 could have knocked down the fire. The fire wasn't gas fed. I spoke to the store owner and he said he had received a 50 cartons of plastic bags that day, it was the plastic burning that gave off the different colors. Gut was wrong, but, if I had the same fire the next night I would have made the same call. Always listen to your gut when it's telling you something, there will be many times when it won't.   

Offline mikeindabronx

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #59 on: April 17, 2019, 11:54:38 AM »
Chief, thanks for posting another story. DC Hartnett was a Lt. in E-68, Capt. in E-37, BC in BN-27, DC in D-6

Capt. Hartnett on the right

http://fdnysbravest.com/fp148.htm


Capt. Hartnett in the front on the right

http://fdnysbravest.com/fp19.htm
« Last Edit: April 17, 2019, 12:15:25 PM by mikeindabronx »