Well-known member
Jun 22, 2007
I think we can safely say that for most of us, we are here for the FDNY, it's history, the incidents, etc.

We have the HIGHEST Respect for the current, as well as the retired members of the department. The largest and busiest fire department in the entire country.

John Bendick (our site administrator) and I became firefighters in cities that were NOT our first choice. For John, he wanted to be a Yonkers, NY Firefighter. For me I wanted to be a Bridgeport, Ct Firefighter. But it didn't turn out that way. Since then, years have gone by and in many cases with no regrets.

John has suggested to me that guys from other depts tell us about the dept that they have ties to. Maybe a volunteer dept, a career dept. It might be a city, a town, a district, or a county wide dept.

Maybe giving us the number of members, normal manning, a brief history, etc. Anything you feel that should be mentioned.

Let me give you an example here. But John and I hope you'll join in with your dept.

NORWICH, CT - A small city of about 40,000 people.
Norwich, Ct is divided into six totally separate fire districts of One Fulltime Career Dept and Five Totally separate volunteer depts.
The Career Dept consist of an on duty shift of 13 on duty members. Each member works a 42 average hourly work week.
In addition there are full time Staff Members consisting of One Training/Safety Officer, Three fulltime members assigned to the Fire Marshalls Office, including a Captain in charge. Plus of course the Chief of Department. All working Monday - Friday and on call for various incidents.

Each shift operates with:
1 Battalion Chief (no aides)
1 Capt
2 Lts
9 Firefighters
These on duty firefighters man Four pieces of apparatus; Squad "A", Engine 2, Engine 3, Truck 1 - operating out of Two firehouses.
Fire Headquarters on North Thames St and Engine 2s quarters on North Main St
Each piece of fire apparatus is manned by Three Firefighters with Squad A having the Captain with Two Firefighters. Also a Lt on Engine 2 and Engine 3 with Two Firefighters each, and Truck 1 - with 3 Firefighters, no officer.
There is also a Reserve Rescue/Haz Mat rig, and a Brush fire unit. There is also an unmanned fire boat (Marine 1) covering the Thames River which runs from Long Island Sound into the Norwich downtown area. Each member is certified and trained in it's operation.
All members must maintain EMT certification. There are also members who are Haz Mat Techs.
All newly hired firefighters must attend the 12(?) week recruit school, Monday-Friday, located in Windsor Locks, Ct just outside of Bradley International Airport. They are on probation for one year in which they must learn ALL the duties of the job, including chaffer and operation of all apparatus

The city is an old New England town with many old apartment and commercial buildings in the downtown area. There is also an abundance of 2 1/2 and 3 story frame dwellings, Queen Anns, and a couple of old abandoned factories.

On this site we also have Retired B/C "scarter", Retired Captain "NFDTillerman1974", and Active Lt "NFDcanman" who might like to contribute some information as well.

So that's some basic facts from Norwich, Ct. with regards to it's career fire dept. Of course I still miss it but "I know that the city is in good hands with a great group of dedicated firefighters there now".

Thank you all for listening to my story and how about we hear yours, volunteer or city paid. From the biggest city to the smallest departments.

Let me also add this. Something "I NEVER FORGOT".
Many years ago, I got talking to a member of the FDNY. Of course "I could NOT relate to the amount of work that he was doing".
He asked me where I was a firefighter and I told him. But I told him, "I can't relate to the job you're doing down here".

Then he asked me: "Did you ever fight a fire" ? Of course I did.
He then said; "The heat and the smoke is the same here as where you are".

I guess there's a lot of truth to that and I never forgot it. That FDNY member clearly believed in the Brotherhood of Firefighters.

So that's my story. I Hope you tell your story here too.
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Sep 2, 2015
I retired in 2014 from the Columbus, Ohio FD after 36 years OTJ. Mid-sized department with 35 ALS engines, 16 Ladders, 5 heavy rescues, 7 battalions. There is a transport vehicle, known as ''medic'' in every station with some stations having 2 during busy times. Ladder companies are about 1/2 TDA's and 1/2 tower ladders. All midships. Engines are mostly Sutphen customs with 1500 GPH pumps and 750 gal. tanks. All carry 1000' of 5 inch supply hose. Shifts are 24 on and 48 off with a ''kelly day'' every 3 weeks for an average work week of 48 hours. The work, like most similar sized departments is EMS, not fires. The dept. has a dive team, bomb squad, and haz-mat units.