“I have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a firefighter The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we who know the work which the firefighter has to do believe that his is a noble calling."

-Chief Edward F. Croker FDNY circa 1910

Brave assistance dog aids 9/11 firefighter

Brave assistance dog aids 9/11 firefighter

Brave assistance dog aids 9/11 firefighter — two heroes who are the ‘perfect match’

Retired FDNY Firefighter and 9/11 first responder Tom Prin is training with a companion dog named Halona.


These two heroes were destined for each other.

Tom Prin, a retired firefighter, has a new four-legged partner — an assistance dog named Halona.

The two will graduate Friday from a rigorous, two-week-long training session at Canine Companions for Independence on Long Island.

But it turns out they both have a history of rescuing people from fires.

Prin is a 9/11 first responder who retired in 2005 after a series of on-the-job injuries left him with back and breathing problems.

And Halona’s sharp senses and dogged determination saved her previous family from a house fire at the Jersey Shore in 2015.

Halona, seen here as a puppy, was raised to be a companion dog to help people with disabilities.

“It’s crazy we kind of found each other in this world,” said Prin, 45, a married father of two young boys from Holtsville, L.I., who only found out about Halona’s unique background two days ago. “She was always my top choice.”

Prin was stationed at Ladder 112 in Bushwick, Brooklyn, from 1999 to 2005 until he retired on disability.

Halona, a 2-year-old Labrador retriever/golden retriever mix is specially trained to help Prin with issues such as keeping his balance and picking up dropped items.

But her schooling started as a puppy when the King family of Bucks County, Pa., volunteered to raise her from the age of 8 weeks to 18 months.

“This is just amazing, we are all excited about it,” said Gina King, who is driving up with her family for the Friday graduation ceremony. “They are a perfect match.”

King said the family was on vacation in Ocean City, N.J. on July 5, 2015, when the usually-well behaved pooch refused to go into the house they rented.

After the family coaxed her inside, Halona woke them up a short time later with hysterical barking.

“We didn’t realize there was a smoldering fire in the apartment on the first floor,” King said. “The firefighters told us there would have been fatalities if she hadn’t woken us up. The fire moved quickly.”

Now Halona is getting ready to settle into her new Long Island digs and is best buds with Prin's sons.

And Prin is grateful for the love and attention the pup received from the Kings.

“I can’t believe what they have done — the sacrifices they made and then had to let her go,” he said. “She is hardworking but when she is allowed to just be a dog she will play fetch or just put her head in your lap and look at you. Whatever you need, she gives.”

Continue reading
569 Hits

Waldbaum's Fire August 2nd, 1978

Waldbaum's Fire August 2nd, 1978

August 2nd, 1978, 12 firefighters plunged into a burning Waldbaum's Supermarket when the bowstring truss roof collapsed at the center of the store. 6 firefighters died. Shortly before the collapse, a crackling sound was heard. Some of the 20 firefighters on the roof at the time were able to run to the roof's edge.

The bowstring truss, concealed by a rain roof, failed as a result of the unchecked fire gaining headway.

The fire was reported at 8:30am, escalated to a 5th alarm as a result of the rescue and recovery effort. Built in 1952, the supermarket was undergoing extensive renovations and was open for business. At the time, they were welding in the ceiling. The roof collapsed 32 minutes after initial units arrived. 6 firefighters were killed, 34 injured. 

Failure of 1 truss element can cause failure of the entire truss and a resulting collapse of the entire structure. The danger of truss construction whether a bowstring truss, wooden truss with gusset plates or metal parallel chord truss pose a danger to firefighters. 

Of the 6 members killed August 2nd, 1978 at the Waldbaum's Fire in Brooklyn, FF William O'Connor was the youngest. 29 years of age, he had only 7 1/2 months on the job. O'Connor was reporting for duty that morning, his wife and 3 children drove him to work. As they arrived, the bells were ringing in the firehouse. He ran into the firehouse, thew his gear on and jumped in. His wife followed behind to watch their hero husband/father in action. Unfortunately, they were watching as he was thrown into the collapse. 6 of New York City's bravest were killed, 34 others injured.

We remember the following members who lost their lives at Brooklyn 4th Alarm 77-44-3300 August 2nd, 1978:

Lt James E Cutillo, Bn-33 He was married with 2 children. Joined FDNY April 6, 1963.

FF Charles S Bouton, L-156  38 years of age, married father of 6 children. Joined FDNY September 14, 1968.

FF Harold Hastings, Bn-42 39 years of age, 16 year veteran of the FDNY.

FF James P McManus, L-153 44 years of age, married with 2 daughters, 17 year veteran of the FDNY.

FF William O'Connor, L-15629 years of age, married father of 3 children. Only 7 1/2 months on the FDNY.

FF George S Rice, L-153 38 years of age, married with 2 children. Joined the FDNY August 14, 1965. 

Continue reading
2125 Hits

Ritz Tower Explosion

Ritz Tower Explosion

August 1st, 1932 - FDNY Companies were turned out to a reported fire in the sub-cellar of the Ritz Tower. Located at 113 East 57 Street, the Ritz is a 41 story hotel/residential building with stores on the 1st floor. It was one of the tallest residential buildings in New York City. While members were working to extinguish the fire, fumes from the paint shop met the high heat from the fire causing an explosion. Lt James Hartnett, L-16 and FF Thomas S Finn, E-65 were closest to the explosion and were killed instantly. The Incident Commander promptly transmitted the 2nd alarm for box 924. Uninjured firemen near the explosion rushed to remove the injured when, with in 3 minutes of the 1st explosion, a 2nd occured. The 2nd was more powerful and bigger than the 1st, blowing out partition walls, traveling up the dumbwaiter shaft to the 1st floor. 5 firemen were killed in the 2nd explosion and another succumed to his injuries 2 weeks later.

We remember FDNY members killed at the Ritz Tower Explosion Box 66-22-0924 occuring August 1st, 1932 at 113 East 57 Street.

Lt James Hartnett, L-16 August 1, 1932

FF Thomas S Finn, E-65 August 1, 1932

FF James F Greene, E-65 August 1, 1932

FF Louis Hardina, L-16 August 1, 1932

FF William L Pratt, L-7 detailed to L-2 August 1, 1932

Lt John H Cosgrove, E-65 August 1, 1932

FF Peter A Daly, E-39 August 1, 1932

FF Edward R Maloney, E-39 August 18, 1932

Continue reading
1331 Hits

T2T Fundraiser for Dallas Officers

T2T Fundraiser for Dallas Officers

The Stephen Siller Tunnel 2 Towers foundation is once again looking to step up in support for Dallas Police officers who were ambushed, killing 5 injuring 12. COO John Hodge announced the foundation set their goal for $5 million to go to the families of the 5 killed officers as well as the 12 officers who were injured. This isn't the foundations 1st time stepping up for Police Officers, in 2014 they raised $1.2 million for the families of NYPD Detective Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos who were ambushed while sitting in their RMP in Brooklyn. The funds paid of the mortgages of the slain officers homes to help ease the burdon on the family. 

Tunnel 2 Towers foundation was founded by the family and friends of FDNY Firefighter Stephen Siller who lost his life on 9/11/01. On that day, Siller selflessly gave his life and was determined to do so. He let nothing stop him from responding to the World Trade Center, ditching his vehicle in Brooklyn, grabbing his gear and running through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel. The Tunnel 2 Towers foundation follows their inspiration and won't let anything get in their way of helping others. Every year they host a large well known run/walk following the footsteps of Stephen Siller through the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel to the World Trade Center. Some run, some walk, some wearing firefighting gear and some not. But it isn't a race, it's to keep Stephen's memory alive and he would have been proud of where this foundation has been and where they are going.

To donate call 1-844-BRAVEST or visit www.tunnel2towers.org or https://www.crowdrise.com/t2tfordallas

Continue reading
893 Hits

Off Duty member performs CPR

Off Duty member performs CPR

2 off duty NYC employee's give another NYC employee a 2nd chance at life. While on duty, a NYC DEP employee was driving in Midland Beach, Staten Island when they suffered a heart attack, and went into cardiac arrest. The DEP Toyota Prius veered out of control and into a parked car at the intersection of Greeley Ave & Rudyard St.

2 super heroes swopped in and took control. Off Duty Firefighter Mark Gonzalez, E-310 and an off duty NYPD Officer, both were in the area and took swift action. After failed attempts to gain access inside the vehicle, Mark took a tire iron and broke the rear window then unlocked the doors. The male was removed from the vehicle and both worked as a team, performing 2 rescuer CPR on the unconscious male. EMS arrived and took over patient care/transport. As of 10pm last night, the NYPD confirmed the male's condition was listed as critical in Intensive Care. The quick actions by FF Gonzalez and the NYPD Officer, providing immediate care shaved seconds off the victims Golden Hour, potentially giving him many more years provided a full recovery. The chance is there because of their actions. 

(Photo by Staten Island Advance)

Continue reading
3562 Hits
Go to top