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General Category => History => Topic started by: ******* on September 02, 2018, 12:06:11 PM

Title: Remembrance
Post by: ******* on September 02, 2018, 12:06:11 PM
A lot of remembrance , where to start, I guess the beginning. Came out of the Navy 1958, did 3 years on what was called a "kiddee cruise," enlisted before 18 discharged before 21. Was fortunate that a number of civil service exams were scheduled in the coming months. Took the FDNY ,NYPD and NY State Trooper examines. Wanted to be a cop at that time but was called for the FD first. Was appointed to the FD 3/30/60 at age 22. Don't know why but was told to report to the 6th Division headquarters 4/1. Seemed that the proby school was several weeks in and they would have us, about 100 ride in different divisions until our school started. About 20 of us went to the 6th that morning. I was teamed up with an African American FF Fred Johnson. Nice guy we got along great. The officer in 19 was a Lt. name Whitney. Whitney wanted Johnson and me with him like he wanted hemorrhoids. Was told to take gear from the rack and ride with the truck on runs. Whitney told us "at a job God help you if I can't reach out and touch you, you STAY with me." He hated it but the guys loved it as it was semi-annual inspection time and they had Johnson and me cleaning qtrs every hour of every day there. First day we were eating lunch when a kid came into qtrs and said that a cat was stuck up in a tree. We had a wooden spare in 19 that tour and Whitney  said we would test the ladder and raise it. We did and took the cat of the tree. Was the only time in my 37 FDNY years that I took a cat out of a tree. At this time in the job units would be called to training (the rock) for evaluation. If A unit failed 3 out of 5 test evolutions it went not well for the company and company officers. Our 2nd day in 19 the unit was called to the rock for evaluation. When we arrived at training a Lt. met the company and began assigning a evolution. Johnson and I dressed like real FF's were told to "get a scaling ladder and put it up to the 2nd floor window. We asked another FF "what was a scaling ladder?" He pointed to one on 19's rig. We took it off and started to raise it. Lost it half-way up and dropped it on another FF's head(Helmet). The evaluation Lt. ran over to us, pissed, and said "how long are you guys on the job that you can't raise a ladder right?" I said "what time is it?" He said "what the hell does it matter what time it is?" I said well we started 9AM yesterday so I guess it's about 25 hours we're on the job. He told us to sit under a nearby tree and not touch anything. Was a pretty good day sitting in the shade and watching 19 going through the rigors of hell for 5 or so hours. We rode with different companies 9x6 tours Monday thru Friday and then did a 6x9 in a company on Saturday nights, a 60 hour week until we started training about 6 weeks in. After training I was assigned to 74 engine and Johnson was assigned to 49 truck. Sadly about a year later Johnson was killed in a off-duty car accident, was a great guy, would have been also a great asset to the FDNY.   
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: mikeindabronx on September 02, 2018, 02:17:29 PM
Chief, thanks for the Remembrance, hope you keep them coming   
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: ******* on September 02, 2018, 02:39:34 PM
Thanks Mike. The changes in the FDNY from the day I walked into the 6th Division in 1960 and retired in 1997, really amazing. I can't imagine today letting guys, or girls, girls? walk into a firehouse; no training, put on gear and respond to fires. Changes in the city. In 19 those few weeks I remember the company responding to Charlotte Street, 19 was probably 2nd due truck then. I grew up in the city, Astoria, but I couldn't believe the mass of people that were in the streets of that neighborhood, seemed like thousands. It reminded me of scenes in movies, Africa, where to drive through a street you would have to lean on your horn to part the people from your way so you could pass. Charlotte St. was mostly 6 and even 7 story tenements and H types. Poor neighborhood many of the apartments had 2 or 3 families. Then when I was back there in 1973 Captain of 82 any time of the day very few people in the street, the neighborhood was Berlin in 1945. Remembrance, some good, some not so much.
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: mack on September 02, 2018, 02:46:38 PM
Chief - Thanks for your remembrance. BC James Whitney, L 42/L 19/R 3/B 4, passed away in 2004 - RIP:

WHITNEY--James J., age 88, passed away September 9, 2004, at home in Peoria, Arizona. Born and raised in New York City, Jim was a US Army Lieutenant during WWII. He built a home in Dobbs Ferry, NY, and worked for 30 years in the NYC Fire Department. He was assigned to Ladder 42, Ladder 19, Rescue 3 where he served as Captain, and retired in 1978 as Chief of Battalion 4 in lower Manhattan. Jim garnered numerous citations throughout his career for bravery in the line of duty. He was a generous and loving person, a true believer in adventure, compassion and the goodness of human spirit.
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: nfd2004 on September 03, 2018, 09:31:28 AM
 Chief, I appreciate that story as well.

 Sometimes, as it goes, things don't always turn out as we had hoped or expected. But they just seem to turn out right over the years.

 You said you wanted to be a cop at the time, but the fire department called you first. I think this sites Administrator, John Bendick, aka "jbendick", had recently mentioned on here how he really wanted to become a Yonkers Firefighter. But at the time the FDNY called him and like many of us;
 "When they open that door, you just got to walk in".

 I wanted to become a firefighter from the time I was a little kid and I used to go with my father to pick up his pay check where he worked as a firefighter in Bridgeport, Ct. I wanted to be just like him.

 But as I got older, it didn't look like that would be possible. Physically, I had an issue with my heart that resulted in me receiving an Honorable Discharge, under medical conditions, during my basic training at Fort Leonardwood, Missouri from the U.S. Army. I didn't expect that at all.

 I was fortunate enough to already have a good job as a U.S. Letter Carrier, so I was able to continue with that. BUT, how would I ever become a firefighter, which is what I really wanted to do.

 When I was released from the military, it was suggested that I go to a cardiologist. So that's what I did and "YES" he did find a problem that could prevent me from becoming a firefighter. But he also said that being young, if I were to get into a good cardio exercise routine, it is possible that a regular doctor may NOT pick it up. Six months later I visit him again and things were looking more positive.

 So I start taking every firefighter test that comes up. Always scoring Good - BUT NOT Good Enough. I really wanted to be a Bridgeport Firefighter like my father but there were other issues that came into play as well.

 Things were NOT looking too good at all. Then a friend of mine tells me about a test taking place in Norwich, Ct. I remember saying to him; Norwich, Ct - where's that" ? So we look at the map, we go up to take the test and for me, I end up getting the job.

 After the testing process, I get called for an interview with the Chief of Dept. He tells me if I pass the medical I have the job, under one condition. I must move into the city and become a city resident. It's 75 miles from my home and friends in Bridgeport. It's also 120 miles from NYC and it's 1975. The FDNY is in the peak of the FDNY War Years and it's a big part of my life.  A couple of buddies are all into it too. A Bridgeport Firefighter tells me, "Willy, you got to take that job if they offer it to you".

 It's certainly No NYC or Bridgeport, Ct either. But I "DO" pass that medical. I'm getting the job and this place will be my new home.

 Just before I get appointed, I tell my younger brother, who's also buffing fires in NYC and Bridgeport with me, to come up and check this Norwich out. It's an old New England city with a lot of old factories and closely packed wood frames and a few ghetto neighborhoods. We go up there and get to the downtown area where the rigs pass us by going on a run. Of course I get all pumped up and we try to follow them.

 Then my brother says to me; "Look they got a job up there". Sure enough, "It's what the FDNY would call a 10-75". We get on the scene and the guys are just stretching a line into a 2 1/2 frame. "I'm sold - I can't wait to start". That starting date was May 25, 1975 and it was one of the BEST MOVES I EVER DID. I ended up getting a nice home that I still live in today. I was very happily married for 35 years until my wife Helen, sadly passed away. She was GREAT and she also came from Bridgeport. She always told me, "she's here to stay and she loved the place".

 I retired in January, 2004 with no regrets at all. I never had a problem with that earlier heart condition and I never told anybody about it until AFTER I retired. Today, I tell all my friends here, that "I am strong like bull". But what I don't tell them is that if somebody knocks me down, I probably won't be able to get myself back up on my feet again".

 So there you have it. Today I am very thankful for being healthy and having so many GREAT Friends. We talk about the fire department all the time, whether it be the FDNY, Bridgeport or Norwich, Ct.

 I guess we all have stories to tell. I enjoyed telling mine and I thank you Chief ******* for telling yours.
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: 1261Truckie on September 03, 2018, 10:39:29 AM
Chief,
Thanks for sharing your remembrance with us.
There are guys on this sight who are a wealth of FDNY information, history and tradition. And it is so important that these stories/remembrances are told and chronicled as a way to preserve our history.
Young firefighters today have little or no idea what it was like back in the 60's and 70's from open cab apparatus (with plywood roofs) to three, four and five jobs a tour or 20 plus runs a tour.
Keep the history coming
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: ******* on September 03, 2018, 12:12:11 PM
I turned 81 this past August, figured I would post what I remember, while I can, how the FDNY changed over my years. Masks- when I came on assigned 74 engine. My years there 74 was considered busy for engines, we were 9th,11th and 14th in workers my 3 years there, Workers were any job you went to work at, even doing a look see at a false alarm. We had around 900 workers my first year there, probably 30 to 40 structural workers with 40 hours of structural work for the year. Contrast that with 82's numbers e.g. July 1975 210 structural workers with 205 structural hours of work for the month. Assigned to 74 we carried 2 Scotts in suitcases on the rig. The main mask (one) was an MSA mask, a filter mask which couldn't be used in a cellar fire. But the MSA was a great mask for the nozzle man. There was no mandatory mask policy for the department until around 1986 or so I believe. I was a staff chief at the time masks became mandatory. Was a great move as with all the new construction material etc., plus reduced flash-over time. I never liked wearing a mask, found it to confining etc. Also as a new FF I had an experience with a mask that I guess stayed with me for my years. It was at the Times Tower fire in Manhattan. We went on the 5th alarm. When we got there my Captain Waldron was told to mask up and relieve on one of the 5 or 6 stretched lines. He and another FF did so and went into the tower. The fire if I remember right was 4 or 5 floors down, newsprint. Two firefighters had lost their lives, 24 truck, searching for trapped civilians. Ten or so minutes later Waldron came back out. I was given the mask with a fresh tank and told to relieve on a line. At that time there was no air gauge for the tank or a low air indicator alarm. The tank was rated at 20 minutes of air and you were supposed to "keep track" of how much air your had left. Now this may have been O K for apartment fire etc. but hairy when you have to go down 4 or 5 flights of stairs, fully smoke charged. I can remember being "scared" at 2 fires during my years, that was one of them. I went down, found 21/2" line and followed it to the nozzle. It was just me and the nozzle so I picked it up opened it up and threw water at smoke. A few minutes later another FF backed me up and then a few minutes after a chief came up to us and told us to shut down and go back up to the street. He didn't have to say it twice. In the coming years the MSA was gone and we carried the 5 Scotts. My years as a company officer in 50 and 82 I would have one guy my mask man if needed and call him up for usually a final push. My mask guy in 82 was Eddie Montaque RIP, an African American FF, a bull of a guy. I would yell "Eddie take the nozzle," he would crawl up, never hesitated, never failed. If the good Lord ever wants to put the fires of Hell out,he should just yell out "Eddie take the nozzle."
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: nfd2004 on September 03, 2018, 01:54:24 PM
 Thanks Chief for telling us your story.

 I am very thankful that I got to meet you when you came by to visit a few of us in Bayside Queens a few years ago.

 I remember you telling me about July, 1975 being the peak time for Engine 82 during those very busy FDNY War Years. A time in which you were the assigned captain of Eng 82. I have passed around those numbers since that time and of course today, "it's hard for anybody to really understand that". Except of course the guys who were the FDNY War Years Firefighters themselves, or some old buffs who happened to see it for themselves.

 For me, it was certainly an Honor to meet and talk to you. During those years of the 1970s, myself and several others no doubt saw you and your Brother FDNY War Years Firefighters in action fighting hundreds of fires.

 As I understand it you were the Asst Chief for the Bronx and Manhattan. You were involved in the development of what we now know as a FAST Company. Once it was in place in NYC, other cities followed, sometimes calling it a RIT Company. It later became a national standard. I also heard that at one time, "you" took a serious hit because you refused to come up with a plan to cut back on manning or closing companies within the FDNY.

 Chief, I'm sure you remember this video. It goes back to your days with Engine Co 82 and in this video, they interview Firefighter Eddie Montague, who happened to be the Engine Company Chaffer the night a lot of guys got hurt and he didn't because he was that ECC and not in the building. The reporter says to him; "I guess this could be considered your lucky night". FF Montague's response is: "Not really because I like to go in and fight fires".

 Here's that video. It's been posted before on this site. It's called: "The Bronx is Burning". The picture quality may not be 100 % but it certainly tells the story. You'll see how things were so different then. Yet through it all, these guys and the other members of the FDNY successfully put out more fires than any other generation of firefighters across the entire world.

 www.youtube.com/watch?v=qO1hKcFH7Xo     
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: ******* on September 03, 2018, 05:16:31 PM
To set the record straight I was against the FAST truck concept at its birth, I thought it would strip areas of truck companies on short-lived all-hands. When I was a BC I transmitted an all-hands, legit, for a job. On the all-hands they relocated as procedures an engine and truck. Found out later in the tour that the truck relocated was gone 2 minutes when a first due box came in for them. A one year old baby died in this fire, maybe the relocated truck could have saved the baby, will never know. Bothered me then, today and all of my tomorrows.

I was Man/Bx commander. Phone at home rang one morning around 4AM. Dispatcher informed me that a firefighter had been killed at a Bx 3rd, FF Al Ronaldson, Rescue Co. 3. I responded arrived at the scene. Fire was in a large 2 story commercial. First floor was stores 2nd floor was a large ballroom type occupancy. There was a 10'x10' collapse from the 2nd floor onto the 1st over the store of the fires origin. FF Ronaldson had either fell with the collapse or fell into the hole while searching. Those years a firefighters death was investigated by the Safety Chief who responded and a staff chief who was on scene. During the investigation one firefighter we interviewed was Puggy Walsh, FDNY football team Hall of Fame member. Puggy was assigned to the Field Comm Unit. Puggy arrived at the box after the 2nd had been transmitted. On arrival he exited the rig and began to do a walk-around for his progress reports. As he was first leaving the rig he heard the loud collapse noise with HT chatter that there was a collapse As he was doing his walk=around he heard someone call his name, it was Ronaldson at a 2nd floor window, they were friends. Puggy waved back. A few minutes later he heard the may-days for firefighter down, Ronladson had fallen onto the collapse hole doing his search.

Several months later the FDNY was cited by the Federal OSHA for a violation with Ronaldsons death. We had a hearing at headquarters. On FDNY side was the COD,Ch of Ops and 3 staff chiefs, I was at the table. For OSHA there was a approx. 50 year old lady, non-firefighter and a Chief from a small mid-west department. Ronaldsons Lt. had called Ronaldson on his HT without response. As he was going to search for him the may-days were transmitted. The OSHA lady said that when the Lt. had no contact on the first try the chief in charge should have called all members out of the building immediately for a roll-call. We said you couldn't do that as this was not uncommon at jobs due to tool noise, HT off or low volume etc. To satisfy the citation the FDNY agreed to have a truck company (no more FAT engine) on the transmission of the all-hands. The FAST truck was born.I left the meeting thinking "what the hell does she know about firefighting, this will strip areas. I believe the FAST truck concept is standard all over the U.S., how many FF lives have been saved we will never know as the number keeps growing. The 50 year old non-firefighter lady was right.
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: ******* on September 16, 2018, 08:51:28 PM
So many changes from the first year on the job, 1960, and the last, 1997. Responded by the bells which just gave us the street location. During the busy years on busy tours the circuits were open and every box would come in, bells ringing was continuous. When I left we had the teleprinter, address, info etc., big and great change.  Handi-talkies. 1960 the only radios at a first alarm assignment were the BC and his aide. No bunker gear, leg/knee burns were a real problem. I was almost passed over for Captain as I was on Ml for blood poisoning left knee, was able to go FD two days before my promotion. We tried to sew pot holders into our pants, didn't work especially if the knees got wet pushing in. Power saws. Spent 5 years as a FF in L127,  cut a roof you cut it with an ax, the saws were a blessing.

The worst. Interchange. Rapid water. A city that didn't give a shit what was happening in so many neighborhoods. The Red Caps. Spent 6 years in the 6th Division, 70-76 never saw a Red Cap at any job, nor a TV News crew. They locked the barn door after the horse left, wasn't important enough what was happening on Charlotte Street for air time on the six o'clock news.

The best. The towers, were worth their weight in gold. Ladders 3 written if I remember right by BC John O'Reagan, B11 and Capt. Bob Farrell, L31. 1 3/4" hose. The best of the best, the men.
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: ******* on October 23, 2018, 02:52:36 PM
There has been much appreciated praise for the "war years firefighters." The first shots (buildings) of these years started around 1965, ended 1978. If these years had started around 2015 I believe that the FDNY members today would perform no different in any respect to the members of those past years. 82 engine and 231 engine, 31 truck and 120 truck today would be 82,231,31 nd 120 of 1968. Many of the firefighters of the 65-78 years while on the job had no Charlotte Streets in their response districts. I was a FF in 127 truck from 1964 to 1969. 127 ws a fairly busy truck then in Queens, but nothing like the South Bronx or Brownsville areas those days. We would hear stories of the busy tours in the busy companies but stories to us they were.An FDNY member wherever he worked, busy or slow was all FDNY. A case in point and a tip of the helmet to a member who I only knew for 15 hours and forget his name.

Around 1972 part of the raise package was 24 hours of overtime a 9x6 and a 6x9 tour which had to be worked in a "busy" company. One night tour I came down before the tour started and saw an old timer sitting in the kitchen.  I sat with him, he was around 60 years old was an MPO in a slow Queens engine. He told me that he had taken the train to the Bronx for the tour and that his wife was worried about him doing the tour. But he said that was putting in his paper in a few months and wanted the O.T. to add the few dollars to his pension. I was a Lt. in 50 engine. I told him "no sweat we have 5 guys riding, just help the MPO hook up and chase kinks if necessary. It was a slow tour, we only had 7 or 8 runs with no real work. At 0300 we get a first due box, We roll up and we have fire showing from 7 or 8 windows top floor apartment occupied tenement. We stretched. I always took the second position on the line, humped the hose but had more control over the line. The fire met us at the front door and the apartment, all rooms were fully involved, from what was later found to be gasoline fueled arson. We started in and after we knocked down a room and a half I called for a relief for the nozzle man. The guy in back of me crawled up and took the nozzle. Another room or two and I called up the 3rd guy for the nozzle. Another room or so and the 3rd guys had about had it (no bunker gear then and no mandatory mask policy, we were all without masks). Wanting to relieve the 3rd guy I looked over my shoulder and saw one of my guys, 50 helmet and a mask on. I called him up and we knocked down the last room. When the fire was out I as always notified the BC by HT that the fire was out and requested relief on the line for my guys to take a blow. When we came out of the apartment the last guy on the nozzle took the mask off and who was it but the old timer from Queens. I said to him that I didn't know it was him with the mask and that he did a great job. He said "thanks Lou, but look at my hands." He had borrowed turnout helmet coat and boots from the house rack, but there were no gloves in the coat. The skin was hanging off both his hands about 3 or 4 inches off his hands received from the scalding ceiling water as we were advancing. To this day I don't know how he was experiencing such pain to both hands yet held the nozzle and advanced. He was taken to the hospital. I waited for him to return to qtrs later that morning so that I could drive him home to his home in Queens. His hands looked like he had white boxing gloves on both hands. While he did not work or had never worked in what was then considered a busy house, he was FDNY in every cell in his body. To-days members would be no different.

 
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: mikeindabronx on October 23, 2018, 06:11:56 PM
Chief, thanks for another great story
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: CFDMarshal on October 23, 2018, 09:02:48 PM
Chief, Thanks for the story! You need to keep them coming please.
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: ******* on November 13, 2018, 01:28:28 PM
As the saying goes "no two fires are the same." Routine perhaps in the majority but never the same. Unusual, seldom used. One "unusual" was during a summer day-tour in 82 engine. A first due box for the house (82,31,B27) came in early in the tour. Responding the Bx dispatcher calls me on the air and says "B27 cannot start their car for you  take the BC position on your arrival. On arrival we have a heavy smoke condition pushing from around the street front 5th floor windows of a 5 story H type occupied MD in the A wing. I give my HT to a senior member and tell him to "talk the line in." Engine 85 arrives and I have them start a second line. A minute or so later just as the 6th Division is arriving we have a cockloft smoke explosion. All the smoke showing windows on the top floor blow out with smoke,fire and debris shooting out 30-40 feet from the building then settling back into the apartment. Fortunately there were no injuries. The luckiest guy was the FF in 31's bucket which he was riding in as it was being raised to the fire floor. The bucket had reached around the 4th story when it blew. Another 3 or 4 seconds the bucket would have been at the 5th floor, doubtful that the FF would have stayed in the bucket or survive the fire ball. Fire went to a 2nd.

Forty-eight hours later I come in for a night tour. I usually got in around 5. I'm talking to the day tour Lt. in 31, Lt. Teddy Nielson (RIP). I tell Teddy about the smoke explosion. Teddy was a FF in 31 truck for around 10 years before his promotion to Lt. A few months after promotion he was assigned back into 31 as one of the company officers, having served at this point around 15 years in 31 one of the busiest trucks in the job during its busiest years. Teddy tells me that "in all my years I have never had a cockloft smoke explosion." As we are talking a first due box for the house comes in, Teddy goes. A few minutes later a 2nd comes in for the box. When I see Teddy later he tells me that "we had a smoke explosion in the cockloft as we arrived. I spent another 22 years in the job, 21 as a chief officer and never had another cockloft smoke explosion. Remembering.

 
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: doneleven on November 13, 2018, 09:10:20 PM
Chief....Allow me to add my thanks and appreciation for your posts. I’m an Astoria boy myself and you and I actually exchanged messages on the “other site” a number of years ago. Incredible insight you bring with your memories...especially the story about the “slow house old timer”. I’ve always believed that was one of the myths of our job....that everyone in a busy company is a superstar, and that everyone in a slow house isn’t. Being a “superstar” is as much opportunity as it is ability. That said, however...as you well know, we each are defined by our resume...”where’d you work?”. I guess it’s one of the contradictions of our job. Personally, I was assigned to 12 Truck out of proby school in 1974. Great bunch of guys...taught me a ton. But I always yearned to be in a “busy place” . I was laid off and after being rehired was assigned to 11 Truck. Completely different animal...house simply had a different feel. Odd thing was...we’d see Rescue at a job...and the very same guys who had walked past me when I was in 12...now said “hey” when I was wearing the 11 front piece. Always found that interesting. Anyway, enough rambling. Again, thanks for your posts. Be well...and keep writing.
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: ******* on November 26, 2018, 07:42:36 PM
Whenever Thanksgiving comes around I can't help but remembering 1961, the Times Tower Fire that Thanksgiving eve. From WNYF Winter 1962- The Times Tower is a 25 story building with a cellar and 3 sub-cellars, the 4th cellar being 70' below the street and was where the fire originated.  This cellar 110' wide was being used for the storage of stuffed toys made from kapok, excelsior and plastics. On arrival units were informed that two cleaning women were trapped on the top floor Two firefighters from Ladder 24  FF Charles A. Lange and FF Robert R. Hurst took an elevator under the control of a building porter a Mr. Frank Washington to an upper floor to begin their rescue search. Both members were overcome by rising toxic gases when exiting the elevator, both firefighters succumbed to their injuries. Mr. Washington's body was found in the stuck elevator the next day. It took eleven hand-lines to extinguish the fire.

I was working a 6x9 tour in Engine 74 that night. 74 responded on the 5th alarm. At this time we only carried two Scott masks on the engine and one MSA (filter) mask. On arrival my company officer Captain Harry Waldron (RIP) was told to mask up and relieve on a stretched line. Waldron and another firefighter donned 74's two Scotts and descended down the 7th Avenue stairway. Around 15 minutes later Waldron came back up and I donned the his mask with a fresh tank. The Scott's at this time had no low air PAK alarm nor a pressure gauge on the mask hose assembly. The only gauge was on the cylinder.  We were told/trained that a full cylinder had approximately 20 minutes of work time air and for you to "estimate" how much time you had used and had left at a job. I went down the stairway and followed a 2 1/2 " line down. I don't know what level I reached 3rd or the 4th when the line took me into a doorway and I found a shut down nozzle lying on the the ground. I picked the nozzle up and opened the line into smoke. A few minutes later a firefighter backed me up and we continued to hit smoke. A few minutes later a Battalion Chief crawled up and told us to shut down and report back up to the street. We were there another hour or so taking up a few of the lines. Didn't do much at this fire but it has never left me.

May Firefighters Lange and Hurst continue to Rest in Peace. never forget their last full measure of devotion.
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: mack on November 27, 2018, 12:45:41 PM
     (http://s1.postimg.cc/4ym0o0twb/Hurst_Lang.jpg) (http://postimg.cc/image/4ym0o0twb/)

     RIP.  Never forget.
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: ******* on November 30, 2018, 11:08:07 AM
Over the past few years I wrote of the following . I would like to tie these memories together in this one History category, while I can.

The Bravest of the Brave. In my 37 years I never worked with a FDNY coward. They were, to the man, the bravest.But one firefighter did stand alone, FF Thomas Neary. I worked with Tommy when he was a firefighter in L31. One summer night in 1975 the Division 6 Deputy came into qtrs (82,31,B27) with a photographer from Life magazine. Dennis Smith's book "Report From Engine 82" had been on the best seller list for several months and Life wanted to do a pictorial about the house/men in the magazine as a human interest article. As we lined up for a chief's roll call a first due box for 82&31 came in. We responded with the deputy and photographer following us in the division car. E94 and L48 were returning from a box in the area and saw the column of smoke from the fire and responded. Normally second due on the box they both arrived in first. On arrival I saw that we had a fire in a 5 story, top floor, of a fully occupied OLT. There were 3 windows fronting the top floor fire apartment, 2 in the same large room and the third in a small bedroom which the fire escape served. Fire was venting from the FE room with heavy smoke showing from the remaining 2 windows. In the farthest window over a woman was screaming hanging out the window holding a small child out in front of her. E94 was stretching, L48 was raising their aerial. The ladder was malfunctioning, it would elevate and extend but was jamming on rotation, the tip of the ladder was several feet from the window. We carried a life net on 82, I told my guys to get it,but, the OLT had an outside front cellar entrance directly under the fire apartment line of windows guarded by a steel sharp metal fence with spikes. If/when the woman threw the child out and down most likely the child as would she if she jumped be impaled on the spikes. There were several hundred people in the street half yelling her to throw the child the other half yelling for her to stay put. Fire now began to show in the second window over. L31 arrived, 4 of the guys went for their roof rope. FF Neary and his Lt. Donald Butler went up the fire buildings stoop. Moments later fire was venting from the 2nd window and beginning to show at the top of the 3rd window. The woman reached out and was beginning to throw the child when a firefighter embraced her. FF Neary. A second later Lt. Butler also came into view grabbed the child and dove out the window onto the tip of the aerial still a few feet from the window. Neary then took the woman and threw her out onto the aerial caught by a L48 firefighter. Neary then dove out onto the aerial (no bunker gear then) with his turnout coat smoldering and his pant legs showing fire. You could hear a pin drop in the now quiet street.  All 4 went to the hospital, Neary and Butler were both out on medical leave for several months due to the burns. Later L48 said they "felt like shit" when Neary then Butler went over them into the fully involved apartment hallway to rescue the woman and child, neither with a mask. No one faulted them. Butler himself said that he would not have done so but when Tommy went in "he had to go also." After, I went over to the Life photographer and asked if he had gotten any pictures of the rescue. He said that he was so taken by what he was seeing that he didn't take a single picture.

Neary and Butler were both awarded a Class One award, a rescue made under extreme personal danger. That year Neary was awarded the oldest FDNY medal the Bennett medal which is the FDNY's Medal of Honor.

Neary was promoted to Lieutenant and assigned to L28 in Harlem. Another fire and another child trapped in a rear bedroom with a fully involved room blocking a rescue. Neary took a door off an apartment door, laid on the floor with the door over him, slid across the floor to the trapped child's room, rescued the child and then slid back out. No mask, wore gloves, but still received severe burns to both hands from holding the door. Neary received a Class One award and his second Bennett medal.

Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: mikeindabronx on November 30, 2018, 12:38:01 PM
Lt. Tom Neary, L-28, in the center:

(http://www.fdnysbravest.com/firephoto37WM.jpg)

Lt. Tom Neary L-28 after a job:

(http://www.fdnysbravest.com/firephoto360WM.jpg)

Lt. Tom Neary & members of L-28 operating
at a store fire with occupied tenement above:

(http://www.fdnysbravest.com/firephoto22WM.jpg)
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: mack on December 05, 2018, 09:36:12 PM
LT Thomas J. Neary -1980

     (https://i.postimg.cc/zHygNjn0/Neary.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/zHygNjn0)

     (https://i.postimg.cc/14mB2hb3/Neary-2.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/14mB2hb3)


Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: ******* on December 20, 2018, 04:53:33 PM
One of the brothers who must be remembered in this History section, BC Pete Valenzano, the father of the FDNY foam system/coordinators. I thought of Pete when I saw on D.O.112 the department is looking for a BC to assume the duties of the Foam Program Manager. One of my first assignments on the staff was that of Deputy Boro Cmdr Brooklyn, car 7B. One of the duties of car 7B  was the Long Island Pipeline Coordinator. For those unfamiliar the Long Island Pipeline is the supply line for aircraft fuel for JFK and LGA  airports. The pipeline originates in Bayonne, NJ runs underground to Staten Island then into Brooklyn and Queens where it branches off one branch to JFK and one to LGA.

I was working a day tour in the Bklyn Boro when a second alarm came in for a "leak" in the pipeline in Staten Island. The "leak" turned out to be 21,000 gallons of gasoline running down a major Blvd in S.I. The pipeline company doing a repair had knocked off a valve on the pipeline causing a geyser of gasoline 30 feet high spraying a number of near-by homes and creating a river of gasoline running down the blvd. We began to foam the river. A wood plank was thrown over the geyser to stop the spray. I grabbed an engine officer going by and told him he was my foam control guy to make sure we had all the foam cans on hand ready for use, I never saw him again. A pipeline worker with balls of steel went into the hole with gasoline up to his waist and was able to tap the valve hole. We had 4 foam lines protecting him but if there was ignition he was toast, literally. The incident went to 4 alarms without ignition.

The next day I was at headquarters and was talking to AC Bishop, Chief of Ops and AC Harris Ass't Chief of Ops. I said to them that we have to have  a chief in charge of our foam system. The next day in the bag I received a letter from Ops that I was now the FDNY Foam Coordinator. I knew nothing about foam delivery other than put a foam nozzle on a line, dip the nozzle wand into a foam can and spray the foam. Talking to some chiefs I was told that there was a BC in the Bx that loved foam, his nickname was bubbles, Pete Valenzano. I called Pete and asked him if he would take a detail to Training to develop foam delivery procedures and train foam coordinators. He said sure. I went to the Chief of Department John O'Rourke and asked him for Pete's detail. O'Rourke said I could have him for 2 weeks, Pete was there for 6 years before he retired. He was such an asset at Training that they wouldn't give him up. The FDNY foam program/coordinators was born. Within a year we had a number of different city chief's come to NY to see first hand his foam program/procedures.

Pete worked in busy companies throughout the war years. As did many, retired around 1990, retired but a few years he developed cancer, suffered greatly,  and passed away. Rest in Peace Pete, what you gave birth to in 1985 is alive and well.
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: raybrag on December 20, 2018, 04:57:23 PM
Thanks for that, Chief.  As always, your stories are great.  Merry Christmas to you and yours.
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: hosewagon on December 20, 2018, 06:13:11 PM
Another Great and interesting story!!! Thanks Chief!!!
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: 68jk09 on December 20, 2018, 07:54:46 PM
*******  Question. Could that worker waist deep in the hole been FF Pete B. from R*2 ?
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: ******* on December 21, 2018, 09:35:51 AM
It may have been 68jk09, been a lot of years. But I believe it was a L I Pipeline worker. When I first was given Pipeline Coordinator at the boro I went over to Bayonne to familiarize myself with the companies procedures. Had a nice visit with their plant supervisor, fellow named Russ. He was very proud and confident in their safety procedures. He assured me that any pipeline leak would be immediately detected by their flow system and shut down immediately with the maximum loss of only 50 gallons of fuel. At the incident he came walking by me and I called his name. When he looked over I pointed to the geyser. He just shrugged, shook his head and kept walking. But all in all the L I Pipeline is a good, and safe (hopefully) system. 
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: 69 METS on December 23, 2018, 01:06:09 AM
Thanks for sharing the story of how our job ended up with a foam coordinator, Chief. BC Valenzano was well thought of by the Brothers.
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: ******* on January 05, 2019, 01:00:02 PM
1960 the Division of Training AKA The Rock. A few months before I was appointed to the department in 1960 the NY Daily News wrote an article about the FDNY Unions being at war with the then Fire Commissioner Edward Cavanaugh. This war was over fire companies being brought to the Division of Training for performance evaluation. Companies were called to the rock to be tested for "by the book" evolutions (hose stretch, fitting use, special equip etc.). Usually 5 evolutions were performed, if a company failed 3 or more they were delinquent. Captains of companies who had failed were being lifted to covering assignments. The company was retested a few weeks later and God help all the company officers if the company failed again. When I was appointed 3/30/60 the first month and a half I rode with different Bronx companies until my class started in May. The training was 2 weeks first at the Fire College in Long Island City, book learning laws, insp. procedures etc. (where the shops are) then 2 weeks at the ladder school in Manhattan (behind 39/16 qtrs). We finished up with 4 weeks at the rock basically mask use, smoke house, stretching etc. The rock was on Welfare/Roosevelt Island.

I was assigned to Engine 74 then quartered next to L25 on 77th street and Broadway in Manhattan. I can only remember being called once to the rock for evaluation. We passed 4 out of the 5 tests. The way you were called to the rock was by the bells. If you worked in any of the boro's other than Manhattan the bells would hit with the signal 66-5-920-265 for 265 engine in Queens or 66-7-920-41 for 41 engine in the Bronx. These rock bells came in right after the AM 11-11 bells. When we would hear the 5-920-?? everyone would hold their breath waiting and hoping we were spared. If your company was called everyone in the house (both companies if double house and even off going guys) would immediately wash the rig, check the masks, properly stow the equipment etc. as apparatus, tools and equipment was evaluated for cleanliness etc. and part of your overall mark. A short written test was also given.

I was assigned to 50 engine as a Lt. 1/70. I don't remember being called to the rock as a Lt. Of course with Cavanaugh long gone a lot of the evaluations pressure was off. But still if you "failed" you would be given a "smack" by the boro and told to shape up. I was assigned to 82 engine as Captain 9/73. I was only called to the rock once while in 82, the summer of 75. I was a little concerned as we never by the book drilled in 82, was to busy. But the guys did great. Many years but I think we only failed one of the evolutions. We finished up our last evolution on a pathway next to the East River. As the guys finished putting the hose back I told them the great job they did and how I appreciated it. I heard a big boat going by and looked over. It was the Circle Line boat loaded with tourists lining the deck. I believe that when the boat was passing the rock the tourists were told "on your right is the training academy for the FDNY." Some of the tourists were waving, I waved back. I still remember, pictures in my head, of many of the events that I experienced in the FDNY during my 37 years. One of these was after waving at the tourists I looked back at my guys and found one of them up on the seawall railing mooning the tourists.

Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: nfd2004 on January 05, 2019, 03:45:10 PM
 Chief, once again, Thank you for that story. Such a different time. Those of us that were around that time often still talk about it.

 One of the things that a few of us recently talked about was the ground breaking ceremony for the "Tin House" in the Bronx. It had been posted by a member here in the "FDNY and NYC Firehouses and Fire Companies - 2nd section" (page 49, reply # 729) that the ground breaking ceremony for that "Tin House" was originally planned for Engine Co 50. That member also posted a picture of that taking place in October, 1970.

 As a Lt in Eng 50 in January, 1970, do you remember if that was the case ? Of course later once it was opened it became the quarters of Eng 85 and TCU 712.

 Your stories here, as well as so many other stories, etc., from so many members on the history of the FDNY is needed to be preserved for future generations to come. Many stories such as yours, are unimaginable today. 
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: mack on January 05, 2019, 03:53:16 PM
1960 the Division of Training AKA The Rock. A few months before I was appointed to the department in 1960 the NY Daily News wrote an article about the FDNY Unions being at war with the then Fire Commissioner Edward Cavanaugh. This war was over fire companies being brought to the Division of Training for performance evaluation. Companies were called to the rock to be tested for "by the book" evolutions (hose stretch, fitting use, special equip etc.). Usually 5 evolutions were performed, if a company failed 3 or more they were delinquent. Captains of companies who had failed were being lifted to covering assignments. The company was retested a few weeks later and God help all the company officers if the company failed again. When I was appointed 3/30/60 the first month and a half I rode with different Bronx companies until my class started in May. The training was 2 weeks first at the Fire College in Long Island City, book learning laws, insp. procedures etc. (where the shops are) then 2 weeks at the ladder school in Manhattan (behind 39/16 qtrs). We finished up with 4 weeks at the rock basically mask use, smoke house, stretching etc. The rock was on Welfare/Roosevelt Island.

I was assigned to Engine 74 then quartered next to L25 on 77th street and Broadway in Manhattan. I can only remember being called once to the rock for evaluation. We passed 4 out of the 5 tests. The way you were called to the rock was by the bells. If you worked in any of the boro's other than Manhattan the bells would hit with the signal 66-5-920-265 for 265 engine in Queens or 66-7-920-41 for 41 engine in the Bronx. These rock bells came in right after the AM 11-11 bells. When we would hear the 5-920-?? everyone would hold their breath waiting and hoping we were spared. If your company was called everyone in the house (both companies if double house and even off going guys) would immediately wash the rig, check the masks, properly stow the equipment etc. as apparatus, tools and equipment was evaluated for cleanliness etc. and part of your overall mark. A short written test was also given.

I was assigned to 50 engine as a Lt. 1/70. I don't remember being called to the rock as a Lt. Of course with Cavanaugh long gone a lot of the evaluations pressure was off. But still if you "failed" you would be given a "smack" by the boro and told to shape up. I was assigned to 82 engine as Captain 9/73. I was only called to the rock once while in 82, the summer of 75. I was a little concerned as we never by the book drilled in 82, was to busy. But the guys did great. Many years but I think we only failed one of the evolutions. We finished up our last evolution on a pathway next to the East River. As the guys finished putting the hose back I told them the great job they did and how I appreciated it. I heard a big boat going by and looked over. It was the Circle Line boat loaded with tourists lining the deck. I believe that when the boat was passing the rock the tourists were told "on your right is the training academy for the FDNY." Some of the tourists were waving, I waved back. I still remember, pictures in my head, of many of the events that I experienced in the FDNY during my 37 years. One of these was after waving at the tourists I looked back at my guys and found one of them up on the seawall railing mooning the tourists.


Thanks Chief for Welfare Island :The Rock" info.  Here are some pictures of 1964 FDNY Welfare Island Training:


     http://www.flickr.com/photos/95364995@N00/sets/72157604056697044/with/2315252460/ (http://www.flickr.com/photos/95364995@N00/sets/72157604056697044/with/2315252460/)
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: memory master on January 05, 2019, 04:27:29 PM
Nice photos Mack, thank you. I a couple of them, Battalion Chief Marty Kehayas (Spelling may be incorrect) who was in charge of the Proby school during that time. Lt. Frank Screder was in charge of the chauffeur training.
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: ******* on January 05, 2019, 06:48:54 PM
Bill you bring up the opening of the tin house, sadly I remember the day well. Was working the 9x6 that day in 50. L19 had building inspection that day. Wanting to insure trucks available during those days when the truck in qtrs had building inspection (1000-1300) they would use the engine in qtrs for the inspections with the engine officer and men manning the truck for the period. There was a big ceremony at the tin house for the opening. The Mayor, Fire Commissioner, Chief of Department, brass etc, were in attendance. 85 and 59 were OOS for the ceremony. Was around 1030 or so we get a first due box, we (L19) respond. We pull up to the building and we have a heavy smoke condition from a 3rd floor apartment. The only person on the street was a young woman screaming at us that her baby was in the apartment. I gave an "urgent" over the apparatus radio if not 3 times at least twice with no dispatcher response back. Can't wait, into the building to the apartment. We force the door and the fire blows out into the public hallway. We (myself, irons and can man) go in low (nose rubbing on the apartment floor) but we could only make about 10 feet in for a fast search. 19 arrives on the floor with the line. We swap and give the truck guys their tools and we (50) take the line in and put out the fire. In the last room we find the baby, one years old the day before. His body looked like the ash on the end of a cigarette with 4 bumps where his arms and legs were. The best of times, this was the worst of times. 85 and 59 would have been first due.

Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: ******* on January 21, 2019, 11:39:30 AM
At hi-rise operations the FDNY has three command positions. The Operation Command on the floor below the fire floor, Staging Command two floor below the fire floor and the Lobby Command. Next month will be the 26th anniversary of the first World Trade Center attack 2/93. My assignment that day was Lobby Command South Tower. There was no Operations or Staging floor that day as there was no fire on the upper floors. The only floor we designated for assignment was a floor around the 60th floor for Triage. With no power/lights in the tower this floor was under renovation with the floor empty of partitions etc. and the windows gave us some light for treatment. This floor was used to treat people in need above the 60th floor and the lobby for triage for people below the 60th. The main concern in the South tower was to find and rescue people trapped in their offices and those in the stopped elevators. The office search was fairly easy and routine. We obtained master keys from building management. Truck companies were sent up to the top and middle floors to begin the search and evacuation. I can write it was easy as I didn't have to climb 100+ floors in stairwells without lights. I remember L111 reporting to me right after I had received word that a woman had fallen on the stairs on the 80th floor and broke her leg, she needed to be carried down to the lobby for hospital evacuation. The Lt. from 111 reported in and asked me if I had an assignment for him. I said "yeah, a woman just fell and broke her leg on the 80th floor. Go up there and carry her down to one of the ambulances outside." He just said "yes sir," and started up. Had to be well over an hour later that they carried her out of the stairwell and to the  ambulance. The main problem was the elevators. Each tower North and South had 99 elevators with pretty much all stuck between floors packed in with no lights. One elevator had over 60 school children and teachers. It took over 6 hours to free the children and teachers. Walls were breached for removal and many heroic acts were performed by the members breaching elevator doors and climbing down to the top of the stopped elevators to remove the people through the roof hatch. I left the scene around 9PM after the last elevator was found searched and the trapped removed.  I was told that day that the truck bomb was meant to bring the towers down. I thought that if they had they would have killed thousands. I retired in 1997. Like millions of others I watched the 9/11 attack unfold on the television. With me watching was my son who was a Nassau County Police Officer. When the South Tower fell I turned to him and said "you just saw 100 firefighters die." God bless them and may the 343 and those after that day continue to Rest in Peace.   
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: nfd2004 on January 21, 2019, 07:12:15 PM
 Chief - Thank You once again for telling us your story. A few of us on this site have discussed how valuable your stories, as well as other stories from members of the department are so very important and should always remain in the history of the FDNY. Who many consider; "The Greatest Fire Department in the United States and perhaps the World".

 As I relate to the history of the FDNY, I realize how many changes and operating policies actually began within the FDNY. If there was ever a place in this country that the rest of the fire service could learn from, it is the New York City Fire Department. Within the boundaries of that city is every type of fire incident or emergency that any city must deal with.

 Chief, for our younger members of this site who may not remember the WTC Bombing of 1993, this is how it was.

 www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJT9cxKTd3k   
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: ******* on February 11, 2019, 11:26:01 AM
Every working fire (one or more rooms involved on arrival) is a danger to the occupants and responding/arriving firefighters. Firefighters survival/safety (I feel) is based on 10%equipment, 10% training, 30% experience and 50% luck. I was always thankfully amazed that more firefighters were not injured at working fires. One of my main concern at many jobs was as we were stretching up the stairs at tenement fires and the truck would take out the stair skylight glass the seemingly hundreds of glass shards raining down on the guys didn't cause more injuries. Looking back over the six years I spent as an engine officer I remember three "close calls." The first was my stupidity as I almost walked out of a 5th floor vacant building window looking for a breath of air after knocking down the apartment fire, only the wind blowing the remaining steam/smoke away and I saw lights below me that I stopped walking forward as this window was completely out down to the floor level. The second was a great call by a Deputy ordering us out of row frame building (we were first due engine, fire went to 3 alarms) and 4 or 5 minutes later the building collapsed. The 3rd was just pure luck.

Working a night tour around 6AM we received a box for a building fire. The engine assignment on the box was 71, 50-2, 50-1 (with the two sections in 50 we alternated daily on which company was first up). On arrival we had a fire in a 4 story occupied tenement. It was an arson fire with heavy fire in a first floor apartment extending up the tenement stairs. 71 stretched and operated into the fire apartment. 50-2 was ordered to stretch into the exposure 2 building as the fire was threatening extension into the exposure. We were ordered to extinguish the stair/hall fires and to check the apartments above the fire apartment for extension. We hit the hall and stairs and worked our way up to the 2nd floor. We hit the 2nd floor hallway and then forced the apartment door of the apartment above the fire apartment. Quick occupant search we then found heavy fire in the apartment dumbwaiter extending around and out the dumbwaiter door. We hit the door and then the dumbwaiter. Left the apartment, hit the hall and stairs 2nd to 3rd floor, same op with the 3rd fl. apartment. We hit the hall and as we were advancing found a body laying in the hallway. I gave a quick HT urgent to the 6th Division and told him we had a 10-45 code 1 (deceased) in the 3rd floor hallway. The reason for the urgent was with the FDNY if there was a delay (more than 5 minutes) of a 10-45 announcement the chief (Deputy) would have to give a reason for the time delay in his fatal fire report required with every fire operation loss of life. The chief, DC Kelsey, RIP, asked me if I was sure it was a code 1, I responded that the body was 100% 3rd degree burned in the fetal position. The HT notification and getting around the body added probably 10 seconds to our advancement. We hit the hall and began to make the turn onto the 3rd to 4th floor stairs when the entire 4th to roof stair structure collapsed onto the 3rd to 4th stairs. We couldn't get past the collapse debris as it entirely blocked off the stairs. Another HT urgent to the 6th telling him we couldn't make it up to the 4th floor, they would have to stretch up the fire escape to reach this floor now. If it hadn't been for the ten seconds added by the body we would have been on the stairs, I doubt if myself and the 4 guys I had on the line would have survived the collapse. Luck? Sometimes I believe the good Lord looks after firefighters, who knows.

It would be great if other firefighters reading this thread would post their own experiences at jobs, I for one would like to read them.
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: mikeindabronx on February 11, 2019, 12:14:23 PM
Thanks again Chief for your insight
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: turk132 on February 14, 2019, 01:42:12 PM
I was a LT in a house with a Battalion. One day tour a covering chief was working, a brother I hadn't seen in many years who I worked with when I was a Probie. We were sitting in the kitchen, reminiscing about the past, when he reminded me of a job that happened Christmas Eve when I was a Probie. Box came in before midnight, fire was in a one story taxpayer, I had the can. Place was closed, we took the locks, raised the gates, quick search,fire was in the rear. Engine got water, we took the windows, fire was knocked down. Roof was cut, smoke was lifting, we started pulling ceilings exposing the cockloft. As the engine was hitting hotspots, I took a blow from pulling for a few seconds and thought I should pull up my boots.(Being a probie I was the only one in the Truck wearing rubber boots) As I bent over to pull them up, a large heavy object came down from the ceiling, hit me in the back and drove me to the floor. Laying on the floor ,stunned and in pain, I wondered what hit me. The brothers helped me up and took me to an ambulance. Turns out it was a piece of cast iron soil pipe. I think at one time it ran through a wall but during a renovation the wall and pipe was removed but the piece above the ceiling and through the cockloft was left. Probably during overhaul the pipe became dislodged. Since I was bending over it was a glancing blow. If I had been standing up and took a direct hit on the head or shoulder I think things would have been much different. Probably 20 minutes into the job and for some reason I get the idea to pull up my boots...... my guardian angel was watching out for me.....it would not be the last time.....
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: ******* on February 14, 2019, 01:58:32 PM
Thank you for the post Turk. There are probably a hundred or more stories like yours out there.
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: turk132 on February 25, 2019, 06:13:51 PM
I turned 81 this past August, figured I would post what I remember, while I can, how the FDNY changed over my years. Masks- when I came on assigned 74 engine. My years there 74 was considered busy for engines, we were 9th,11th and 14th in workers my 3 years there, Workers were any job you went to work at, even doing a look see at a false alarm. We had around 900 workers my first year there, probably 30 to 40 structural workers with 40 hours of structural work for the year. Contrast that with 82's numbers e.g. July 1975 210 structural workers with 205 structural hours of work for the month. Assigned to 74 we carried 2 Scotts in suitcases on the rig. The main mask (one) was an MSA mask, a filter mask which couldn't be used in a cellar fire. But the MSA was a great mask for the nozzle man. There was no mandatory mask policy for the department until around 1986 or so I believe. I was a staff chief at the time masks became mandatory. Was a great move as with all the new construction material etc., plus reduced flash-over time. I never liked wearing a mask, found it to confining etc. Also as a new FF I had an experience with a mask that I guess stayed with me for my years. It was at the Times Tower fire in Manhattan. We went on the 5th alarm. When we got there my Captain Waldron was told to mask up and relieve on one of the 5 or 6 stretched lines. He and another FF did so and went into the tower. The fire if I remember right was 4 or 5 floors down, newsprint. Two firefighters had lost their lives, 24 truck, searching for trapped civilians. Ten or so minutes later Waldron came back out. I was given the mask with a fresh tank and told to relieve on a line. At that time there was no air gauge for the tank or a low air indicator alarm. The tank was rated at 20 minutes of air and you were supposed to "keep track" of how much air your had left. Now this may have been O K for apartment fire etc. but hairy when you have to go down 4 or 5 flights of stairs, fully smoke charged. I can remember being "scared" at 2 fires during my years, that was one of them. I went down, found 21/2" line and followed it to the nozzle. It was just me and the nozzle so I picked it up opened it up and threw water at smoke. A few minutes later another FF backed me up and then a few minutes after a chief came up to us and told us to shut down and go back up to the street. He didn't have to say it twice. In the coming years the MSA was gone and we carried the 5 Scotts. My years as a company officer in 50 and 82 I would have one guy my mask man if needed and call him up for usually a final push. My mask guy in 82 was Eddie Montaque RIP, an African American FF, a bull of a guy. I would yell "Eddie take the nozzle," he would crawl up, never hesitated, never failed. If the good Lord ever wants to put the fires of Hell out,he should just yell out "Eddie take the nozzle."
(https://i.postimg.cc/YhG2CYQC/Rotation-of-Image-1349.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/YhG2CYQC)
 Eddie Montaque  RIP "Big Guy"
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: t123ken on February 26, 2019, 12:23:50 PM
A couple of interesting things about the group photo above of an ECC training class from 1968, aside from Eddie Montague.
A member in the photo from Engine 92 now has a son who is the Captain of Ladder 44.
Another member in the photo from Engine 159, who later made Lieutenant, was rescued as a child from an ice house collapse and fire on Amsterdam Avenue in upper Manhattan.  The vacant burning ice house collapsed on the adjacent tenement he lived in, causing its collapse.
Finally, the member from Engine 92 (who finished first in that ECC class) ended his career in Engine 159.

Related info: http://www.fdnysbravest.com/Division7NewsletterJuly2017.pdf
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: ******* on March 02, 2019, 11:01:37 AM
March comes in with St. Patrick's Day 17 days later. Two memories about St. Patrick's Day, one a beloved brother and the other a fire.

As I have written my first day on the job was assigned to a fire company in the 6th Division, no training until our class would start in about a month. My first company was Ladder 19. Sat in the kitchen and just listened to the guys. They to a man were happy to have one of their guys back, FF1 James Corcoran. Jimmy had been out for several months due to injuries he received when operating at a job and the floor he was working on collapsed. Jimmy fell with the collapsed floor which then landed on and collapsed the floor below. Jimmy was one of those peole in life that when you met him you immediately liked him, the more you knew him the more you liked him. I spent about a month in the house, two weeks with 19 and then 2 weeks with 50 engine. Although our careers would bring us together, Big Jim Corcoran and I it would be another 10 years before I worked with 50/19 and Jimmy as a newly assigned Lieutenant in January 1970. Jimmy was then driving DC Kelsey (RIP) in the 6th Division. Our groups pretty much matched up (no 24's then) and I saw a lot of Jimmy. We became friends. Jimmy had a house upstate NY and a bunch of us went there one year deer hunting. I shot my one and only deer that year. Jimmy helped me pull the deer out of the woods. I have the "rack" (spike buck) mounted on a plaque in my den and when ever I look at it I see and remember Jimmy helping me drag the deer out. In 1962 the FDNY Pipe's and Drums was formed. Jimmy was a founding member of the band and was I believe the first Drum Major for the next 33 years. Former Chief of Department Kilduff said it best when he stated one year that the "FDNY Pipe's and Drum's are the Heart and Soul of the FDNY." I left 50 April 1973 when I was promoted to Captain. Assigned to 82 in September 1973 I continued to see Jimmy off and on for another 2 1/2 years. Left the 6th again May 1976 when promoted to Battalion Chief and worked my BC days in the 10th Battalion in Manhattan. But fate continued and promoted to Deputy Chief  June 1980 my first tour as a covering Deputy was in the 6th Division with Jimmy driving me. Worked a number of vacation spots in the 6th until I went on the staff April 1984. Jimmy and I were working a 6x9 tour on March 16th, 1982. The war years were long gone but we still had a busy night, several fires and ended up at 0700 at a haz-mat job on a service road on the Cross Bronx. I remember asking Jimmy that with no sleep was he still going to march that morning. I remember him saying "chief, today (3/17) 5th Avenue belongs to us (Pipe's and Drum's and the FDNY) would take a lot more than no sleep to keep me away." I was doing a 6x9 tour on March 17th 1995. I walked into the firehouse and saw written on the housewatch blackboard 5-5-5-5 (Death of Member). Next to the 5's was written FF1 James Corcoran, Ret, L19/D6. I can not remember ever seeing the 4 5's for a retired member before.  I called a friend who worked with the band and asked him how did Jimmy die and, was it before or after the parade. He said it was a heart attack and after the parade. The band finished marching as usual at 5th Avenue and 86th Street. They walked over to the downtown subway to go to the mid-town hotel for their St. Patrick's Day luncheon. Waiting on the platform Jimmy suddenly fell to the ground and despite their best efforts they couldn't bring him back. It would be hard to believe that the Good Lord didn't let Jimmy have his last parade. Rest in Peace Jimmy, was an honor and a pleasure to have known and worked with you.

Worked a night tour in 50 on March 16th, 1971. The next morning 5 or 6 of us were going to the city to march in the parade. Several of us in our class A's were standing in front of quarters around 0930 when a civilian in a car drove up and yelled to us that there was a fire around the corner off Washington Avenue. I ran down to the corner and saw a heavy column of smoke off Washington. There was an alarm box on the corner (seem to remember box 2541), pulled it and waved to the guys to come with me. Found heavy fire second floor of an occupied tenement. I ran into the building and up the stairs. The fire apartments door was open and the fire was venting out and into the hall. At an apartment at the other end of the hall was a mother with two kids afraid to go out into the hall to the stairs. I just ran up grabbed a kid and pulled her and the other kid to and down the stairs. Went outside and we saw a man and woman at an open window in the apartment above the fire apartment. They were trapped in the apartment as the fire was venting onto the fire apartment fire escape. 50 and 19 were arriving. We took a 24' extension ladder off 19 and raised it (myself and several other off duty guys) to below the trapped people, we were short 5 or 6 feet. We then took a scaling ladder off 19. One of the guys, Bernie Casey, was lead on the ladder I backed him up. He raised the scaling ladder to the window and took the woman first, then the man out and down to the street. Fire went to a second with the fire apartment occupant DOA. We put the ladders back, went to the parade, marched, celebrated and came back and did a second night tour. I wrote Casey up, he received a Class B for the rescues.

 
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: hosewagon on March 02, 2019, 01:47:47 PM
Once again Chief, thanks again for more great stories! I was working the St. Patrick's Day we lost Big Jim, I remember the guys returning to the firehouse after the parade with the sad news. We really lost a true legend of the job that day, but what better way for Big Jim to leave this world, then after leading the men up 5th Ave!!!!!!!   May he continue to RIP!!!
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: mack on March 02, 2019, 02:11:46 PM
FF JIM CORCORAN

     (https://i.postimg.cc/RNMk1R5K/j-IM-c-ORCORAN.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/RNMk1R5K)

     (https://i.postimg.cc/t1ZQZ40c/28751655-140989523397676-4733929270231957504-n.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/t1ZQZ40c)
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: mack on March 02, 2019, 02:18:04 PM

Worked a night tour in 50 on March 16th, 1971. The next morning 5 or 6 of us were going to the city to march in the parade. Several of us in our class A's were standing in front of quarters around 0930 when a civilian in a car drove up and yelled to us that there was a fire around the corner off Washington Avenue. I ran down to the corner and saw a heavy column of smoke off Washington. There was an alarm box on the corner (seem to remember box 2541), pulled it and waved to the guys to come with me. Found heavy fire second floor of an occupied tenement. I ran into the building and up the stairs. The fire apartments door was open and the fire was venting out and into the hall. At an apartment at the other end of the hall was a mother with two kids afraid to go out into the hall to the stairs. I just ran up grabbed a kid and pulled her and the other kid to and down the stairs. Went outside and we saw a man and woman at an open window in the apartment above the fire apartment. They were trapped in the apartment as the fire was venting onto the fir apartment fire escape. 50 and 19 were arriving. We took a 24' extension ladder off 19 and raised it (myself and several other off duty guys) to below the trapped people, we were short 5 or 6 feet. We then took a scaling ladder off 19. One of the guys, Bernie Casey, was lead on the ladder I backed him up. He raised the scaling ladder to the window and took the woman first, then the man out and down to the street. Fire went to a second with the fire apartment occupant DOA. We put the ladders back, went to the parade, marched, celebrated and came back and did a second night tour. I wrote Casey up, he received a Class B for the rescues.

(https://i.postimg.cc/PpvXjMrP/CASEY.jpg) (https://postimg.cc/PpvXjMrP)
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: 68jk09 on March 02, 2019, 09:47:15 PM
Near the finale of one of my favorite movies "State Of Grace" there are several clips of The Band marching on St Patricks Day led by Big Jim Corcoran RIP.
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: mikeindabronx on March 02, 2019, 10:23:16 PM
Continue RIP

Thanks again Chief for the stories

Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: ******* 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.


 
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: raybrag 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.
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: nfd2004 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. 

 
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: 68jk09 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.









Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: grumpy grizzly 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.
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: ******* 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.
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: hosewagon 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.
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: memory master 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
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: manhattan on April 15, 2019, 11:15:30 PM
I'm in full agreement!
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: CFDMarshal 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!
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: 1261Truckie 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)
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: manhattan 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.
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: nfd2004 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.

 
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: ******* 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.   
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: mikeindabronx 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 (http://fdnysbravest.com/fp148.htm)


Capt. Hartnett in the front on the right

http://fdnysbravest.com/fp19.htm (http://fdnysbravest.com/fp19.htm)
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: raybrag 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.
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: ******* 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.
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: enginecap on April 22, 2019, 07:28:13 PM
I didn’t come on job till 1990.  God bless those who handled those war year fires
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: 8060rock 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)
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: mikeindabronx on April 22, 2019, 08:54:39 PM
BN-16, Chief Frank Fellini
Title: Re: Remembrance
Post by: 8060rock 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