Author Topic: Remembrance  (Read 11025 times)

Online raybrag

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #60 on: April 17, 2019, 12:06:30 PM »
I knew you had more in you, Chief. Keep 'em coming! It's not just in firefighting that you had better listen to your gut . . . it's in many, many professions.
Ray Braguglia
Newport News VA


Nycfire.net

Re: Remembrance
« Reply #60 on: April 17, 2019, 12:06:30 PM »

Offline *******

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #61 on: April 22, 2019, 11:55:23 AM »
 My largest fire as a firefighter, company officer or chief officer was on January 23rd, 1985. I had the City Wide Command Chief (CWCC) duties for that night tour. During my time at 1700 hours a staff chief, usually a Deputy Assistant Chief, had the CWCC duties. The CWCC had the responsibilities to respond to 3rd alarm or higher fires/emergencies, 3 or more 10-45 code 1 incidents, any incident which could bring discredit to the department or as directed by the Fire Commissioner or Chief of Department. At that time we were quartered in the Command Center which was in the basement of Police Headquarters. Quarters had a kitchen, office and 3 or 4 small bedrooms. The center was manned by 4 light duty firefighters working 24 on and 72 off tours. We had just finished the evening meal around 1900 hours when a 2nd alarm came in for a commercial building fire on West 42rd street in Manhattan. It seemed like one minute later a 3rd was transmitted, we responded, I was car 12B.  While responding a 4th was transmitted. On my arrival I found the fire building to be a 9 or 10 story mill constructed commercial factory building, fire was showing, venting, from every window on every floor of the building threatening to extend to all exposures. Exposure 4 was Rescue Company 1's quarters.  I transmitted a 5th alarm. The fire building ran street (43rd street) to street (42nd street). I sectored the fire off having the 3rd Division Chief, DC Hovsepian command the 42nd street side of the fire, to special call units as he saw fit. I was told that all of our members were out of the building. One of the beauties of being a FDNY chief is I could say to the boro dispatcher "special call an additional 10 engine companies to the fire," and 20 minutes later or so 10 additional engines would have arrived. We couldn't set up outside streams (tower ladders, engine stangs) in front of the fire building on the 43rd street side as we knew that the fire building would eventually collapse. Directly across the street was a 9 or 10 story commercial building. We had  10 or so engine companies stretch into this building with 2 1/2" hand lines and attack the fire from the buildings windows. Chief of Department John O'Rourke (RIP) arrived and assumed command. We did position one tower ladder, L14, far back on 43rd street in front to the fire building eventually. The main concern was exposure 4A, a 6 story residential building. The fire was threatening and extending to several floors in this building. I assigned DC Matty Murtaugh, D5 (RIP) to take command of the firefighting in exposure 4A. In all 10 engines operated in exposure 4A extinguishing fire in a dozen or more apartments throughout the fire. The next day the tenants of this building hung a large sheet out of several windows writing on it "God Bless the FDNY," was appreciated by the guys.  L14 operated about 20 minutes, was doing nothing really when we had them lower the bucket, bring the men out and leave the truck where it was (was a spare). Twenty minutes or so later the building collapsed, L14 was untouched. 14 was raised again and the lines from the building across the street continued to hit the now rubble for several more hours. Rescue's quarters were destroyed by the collapse, but that was the only exposure heavily damaged by the fire. Fire was 10 alarms. I don't know how many engines and trucks operated but 40 to 50 engines and 20 to 25 trucks may be a good guess. As always, the guys did a great job.
« Last Edit: April 22, 2019, 11:58:36 AM by ******* »

Offline enginecap

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #62 on: April 22, 2019, 07:28:13 PM »
I didnít come on job till 1990.  God bless those who handled those war year fires
I just want one more good fire

Offline 8060rock

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #63 on: April 22, 2019, 08:28:33 PM »
Thanks for the Remembrance Chief - you mentioned Chief Matty Murtagh - 5th Division was in qtrs. with us on 139 St. - Chief Murtagh was co-founder of Fire Tech and used to give out free passes for a semester to guys in the firehouse, to encourage studying - he was a great chief to have at a job, you knew you were in good hands and an even nicer man. I believe that his son recently retired from the job, the apple didn't fall far from the tree.
We had some super chiefs in the 5th back then - Bill Alford commander, Matty Murtagh (RIP), Mike Kearney, Neil McBride (RIP)
Batt. 16 was right there - great chiefs, even better men, Mickey Meagher (RIP) commander, Bernie Cassidy, George Bauer (RIP), Nick Visconti, also Frank Griffin (RIP), Tom Kennedy
Whenever any of these men moved on - the boots were just a little to big to fill!
One remembrance leads to another!

Just came across this photo courtesy of Mike Dick
BC Nick Visconti (left) & DC Matty Murtagh (RIP)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2019, 11:57:32 AM by 8060rock »

Offline mikeindabronx

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #64 on: April 22, 2019, 08:54:39 PM »
BN-16, Chief Frank Fellini

Offline 8060rock

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #65 on: April 22, 2019, 09:50:32 PM »
yes Mike, he was there, a little after those others - also was a DC in the 5th

Offline *******

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #66 on: June 26, 2019, 01:45:22 PM »
Promoted to Lieutenant August 1969 I covered in the 19th Battalion for five months, then I put in for and was assigned to 50 engine on 1/7/70. Loved the house, loved the men, probably my best years in the department. The Captain at this time was Carlos Rivera who would rise through the ranks and become Fire Commissioner in the Dinkins administration. 50/19 at this time was in the 27th Battalion with E82, 85 and L31. It was during my first few months in 50 that I met Dennis Smith. Smith in 82 was detailed occasionally to 50 to balance the battalion manpower. I was told by the guys that Dennis was writing a book about the job but gave little notice of this at the time. I found Dennis to be a nice guy, easy to talk with and held his own at a job. Smith with his book "Report From Engine 82" did the job proud. The South Bronx during my years there would "wake up" every day around 1300 hours. It would get progressively busier as the day/evening wore on, going "back to sleep" around 0100. I believe strongly that the 1300 wake up time was very instrumental the day of the FDNY strike, November 1973. The strike ended at 1300, 82 missed 11 runs but no real work. By 1400 hours that day there were 3 all-hands going in the 6th Division. If the strike had lasted another hour or two a number of buildings would have burned in the 6th, and, other borough's. 50/19 pretty much ran with the 1300 to 0100 period. 82 on the other hand ran all night and most of the early morning hours. Captain Rivera transferred out of 50 in 1972 to E76 so he could be closer to his widowed mother who lived in upper Manhattan. With no Captains putting in for 50 to replace Rivera a Captain George was lifted in. Understandingly Captain George wasn't a happy guy, and made no bones to the men about it. A few months after his assignment the guys bought a baby pig for a pet and called him George. For some reason Captain George wasn't delighted to have the pig named George and a few weeks later George the Pig was gone and the men were less happy with George the Captain. In May of 70 the second section of 50 was put in the field. 50/19 were moved over to the 26th Battalion with 71/55. I didn't care for the 1st up 2nd up other day rotation but it was necessary as it threw another engine into the South Bronx mix. Even with the 2nd section 50 if I remember right had about 6800 runs in 1970.

I was promoted to Captain April 1973, assigned to 82 engine September 1st, 1973 on the promotion of Captain Grey (Captain Albergrey in Smith's book). Dennis Smith was gone having transferred out a few months before. The first two months were routine, then the troubled years began. In November 1973 the first time in department history the FDNY went on strike. Every firefighter in 82/31 walked out. The Battalion Chief assigned to 82/31 quarters for the strike that morning ordered the 7 house officers (Captain Farrell, L31 was out on medical leave) to drive and man the 82/31 apparatus. None of us being MPO or ladder chauffeur trained refused. The chief accused us of striking and we were fined under the Taylor Law.The Division of Training sent an engine manned by probies to 82's quarters but the men refused to let them enter qtrs. The NYPD Captain told me that if necessary he would arrest the striking firefighters with whatever force necessary if ordered to do so for the probies to enter qtrs.The probies, outside of qtrs. responded to a few fire calls, but no work. A T V crew arrived at qtrs. and interviewed the striking members who gave the city and FD brass a"going-over" interview. The strike divided companies, brought great discredit to the department and achieved nothing. Thankfully it ended at 1300 and the guys immediately went to work. Apparently the T V interview really pissed off the Fire Commissioner John O'Hagan. I was called at home that night that I had to give the Bx Boro 6 names of E82 firefighter for "disciplinary  transfers", if I didn't they, the boro, would just take 6 guys randomly.  The unions fought it and the next day I was told I still had to give them6 names, but, it would be to a company of their choice. Five guys volunteered for different reasons, on Lt. list, enough years there etc. So I only need one non-volunteer. I had 24 great guys assigned to 82 at this time and one meat-ball. The 6th guy was the meat-ball. I had 6 good probies assigned to the company to replace the lifted firefighters. The unions grieved the lifts and won. The men could return to 82 if they wanted to return. The 5 good guys said no thanks, but I had my meat-ball back. Then came the fiscal crisis for the city and another FDNY first, firefighters laid off,. The 6 probies who replaced the lifted firefighters were all laid off. Months later they were asked to come back, 4 said O. K., 2 said no thanks. When the 6 probies were laid off 6 firefighters from other companies were lifted to 82, did not make for a happy house with 12 firefighters,6 in 82 and 6 in 31 forced into the house. The house survived, the war years in the SBX peaked in 1975.

I was promoted to Battalion Chief May 1976 and assigned to the 10th Battalion in Manhattan. Jackie Kennedy lived 3 blocks from quarters, was a very different work area.

 

Offline nfd2004

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #67 on: June 26, 2019, 04:32:25 PM »
 Thank you Chief for these stories. For the buffs hanging around, none of us had any idea that things were in such a turmoil. Beyond the staggering amount of runs and fires, it was a very difficult time for the members of the FDNY.

 Of course as fire departments around the country watched what was going on, "nobody" ever expected the busiest fire department in the world to close companies or lay off members. But it did happen. The concern was, if it could be done there, it could be done anywhere and in some cases it was.   

 Even during the GREAT DEPRESSION, firefighters were NOT laid off. And it wasn't just the fire dept either.

 The stories here and throughout this site are ALL TRUE. Nobody made this up. It was a time that books were written about it and movies were made about it.

 Chief Manson, aka *******, as you've said here before: "It was the Best of Times and the Worst of Times".

 Thank you for telling us your stories. 

Offline hosewagon

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #68 on: June 26, 2019, 10:26:47 PM »
Chief, Thank You for once again giving us another amazing snapshot into the history of our job, from an era that will never be seen again.

Offline mikeindabronx

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #69 on: June 27, 2019, 07:21:39 AM »
Thanks again Chief for the stories

AC Robert Manson (on left) & DAC John M. O'Hagan (R.I.P.):

« Last Edit: June 27, 2019, 07:36:01 AM by mikeindabronx »

Offline 68jk09

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Re: Remembrance
« Reply #70 on: June 27, 2019, 02:30:54 PM »
^^^^  DAC John M. O'Hagan  RIP  "The Good O'Hagan" .....never to be confused with the 2 Hat wearing COD/FC john t. o'hagan.

 

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