“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

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

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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)

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Who was Edward Croker?

Who was Edward Croker?

A search of famous firefighting quotes will turn up Edward F Croker at the top. Croker sure had his way words for the fire service, but who was he? 

Edward Franklin Croker was appointed to the FDNY on June 22nd, 1884. He was only 21 years of age. Just shy of 50 days on the job, Croker was promoted to Assistant Foreman (Lieutenant), and again, another promotion a mear few months later to Foreman (Captain) of Engine 1. Croker's uncle, Richard Croker, was Fire Commissioner from 1883 - 1887, and one of the most powerful political figure in New York City as the head of Tammany Hall. In it's early years, the City was growing as was the need for the Fire Service. Edward Croker proved to be a great firefighter and through his career, a great leader. January 22nd 1892, Croker was promoted to Battalion Chief. May 1, 1899 he was appointed Acting Chief of Department and June 29, 1899 named Chief of Department. Many thought Croker's ties with Tammany Hall was a stepping stone, potentially to Mayor. Croker denied any ambition with the following stirring words:

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. There is an adage which says that, "Nothing can be destroyed except by fire." We strive to preserve from destruction the wealth of the world which is the product of the industry of men, necessary for the comfort of both the rich and the poor. We are defenders from fires of the art which has beautified the world, the product of the genius of men and the means of refinement of mankind. (But, above all; our proudest endeavor is to save lives of men-the work of God Himself. Under the impulse of such thoughts, the nobility of the occupation thrills us and stimulates us to deeds of daring, even at the supreme sacrifice. Such considerations may not strike the average mind, but they are sufficient to fill to the limit our ambition in life and to make us serve the general purpose of human society.

Chief Croker did his best to modernize his department, donating the 1st motorized chief's car and attempted to streamline communications between firemen during emergencies.

He was an outspoken advocate of improving fire safety throughout the city's commercial and residential buildings. He warned that many of the buildings around the city that housed manufacturing operations were disasters waiting to happen. In 1894, he testified before the Tenement House committee that a fatal fire was due in part to "the combustible nature of the building and it's open construction." His unheeded warnings were personified on March 25th 1911 at the Triangle Shirtwaist fire. After the Triangle Waist Factory Fire, suspecting that he could do little to advance his cause within the politicized tangle of government red tape, Croker turned over his command to Deputy Chief John Kenlon at 8:00AM. Edward F. Croker served twelve years the Chief of the New York City Fire Department and for twenty-seven years as an active fireman. Croker’s twenty-seven years of service had seen the administration of twenty-two Commissioners. Croker spent the next 40 years in fire prevention, his company was a leader in Fire Prevention and exists today. (https://www.crokerfiredrill.com/ ). In 1914, Croker built a completely fireproof house in Long Beach which still stands today at 116 Lindell Blvd corner of West Penn Street. This was said to be the 1st of it's kind. His house warming party was covered by the New York Times. According to the Times' story, Croker brought all of his guests to the 2nd floor of his home, where the walls, floors and rafters were made of cement, the doors, trimmings and furniture of metal and interestingly enough, the carpets and furniture coverings of asbestos. He poured a few gallons of gasoline into the room, lit a match then shut the room's metal door and dined with his guests in the next room. The fire was confined to the room and beyond a reported crack in the metal wire of the room's window, the room remained undamaged.

August 30, 1912- Edward F. Croker,  was elected Generalissimo of the Long Beach Fire Department. Chief Croker stated that he proposed in the near future to call out the men under his command regularly every night for drill. In Long Beach, he had within ten days a fire combination truck, a staff of ten prominent volunteer firefighters, and a uniform of black trousers, blue shirts and red helmets, designed so that wealthy volunteer firemen could wear their uniform to social functions and not have to go home to change in case of a fire.

February 7, 1951, Chief Croker died at a nursing home in Lindenhurst at the age of 87.

Firemen are going to get killed. When they join the department they face that fact. When a man becomes a fireman his greatest act of bravery has been accomplished. What he does after that is all in the line of work. They were not thinking of getting killed when they went where death lurked. They went there to put the fire out, and got killed. Firefighters do not regard themselves as heroes because they do what the business requires.” -Edward Croker, February 1908.

croker1Crokers fireproof house at 116 Lindell Bvd corner of West Penn St Long Beach, Long Island, NY

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Manhattan 7-5 2085 Lexington Ave

Thursday Morning 16-Jun 2016.

Just shy of 7am, Manhattan CO received numerous calls for a store fire at 2085 Lexington Ave. 

E-35/ TL-14 / Bn-12 1st due

E-59/ L-30 2nd due

E-58 3rd due

06:55 10-75 by the 12 Battalion, followed by the All Hands on arrival, heavy fire venting from the 1st floor taxpayer in a 7 story non-fireproof 75x50.

E-91, Squad 41, L-26 FAST, Bn-16, Div.3, Rescue 3, Rac 1 assigned.

06:58 E-37 / L-40 special called above the All Hands.

07:26 Fire placed Probably will hold by the 3rd Division.

07:32 L-28 special called.

07:44. Fire placed Under Control by the 3rd Division.

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Remembering Chief Stack, Safety Battalion

Remembering Chief Stack, Safety Battalion

Following the attacks on 9/11/01, like many families, the Stack family held out hope that one day the remains of Lawrence Stack would show up. Anything would do, something with DNA that they can say good bye to. 14 years with nothing and the door has yet to be closed, so the family made the ultimate decision they would attempt to locate something from him that they could say good bye to. Larry and his wife, Kathleen, were blood donors. Kathleen contacted the Blood bank in a blind attempt to locate his donation. A few months went by and the phone rings- Larry's blood was found in storage in Minnesota. The donation was donated back to the family, which they chose to use as a piece of a loving husband, father, brother, best friend to say to good bye to.

Larry Stack was one of many real life heroes that day, but his life leading up to his death was nothing short of spectacular. Before he joined the FDNY, Larry spent 6 years in the US Navy. His last year was the Vietnam War. February 19, 1966, he joined the NYPD for a short period following his honorable discharge from the Navy, but being from a family of FDNY firefighters, joining the department was a no brainer. His father spent 38 years on the job, his brother Dennis retired as a Captain with over 25 years on, his 2 sons; Michael joined the FDNY in 1994 and is presently a Lieutenant in Ladder 176 and Brian is in Ladder 123 detailed to Rescue 4, and his brother-in-law retired as a Lieutenant with over 25 years on the job. 

October 19, 1968, Chief Stack joined the FDNY assigned to Ladder 107 then to Ladder 175 in 1970. In 1981, he was promoted to Lieutenant and after a year of bouncing he was assigned to 35 Truck in Lincoln Center on Manhattan's Upper West Side.  On April 5th, 1984, he was promoted to Captain. He bounced around Manhattan until January 6th, 1987 when he got the spot in Engine 8, Midtown East. March 17th 1990, Larry was promoted to Battalion Chief, working in the 50 Battalion. In 1994, he transfered to the Safety Battalion. 

June 17th, 2016 is the date set for the funeral of Chief Lawrence Stack. This date has significant meaning; It is the 49th wedding anniversary of Larry and Kathleen. Also, June 17th, 2001 was a Sunday, it was also Father's Day and Larry Stack was working the day tour. Around 2pm, Queens Companies were assigned to fire in Hardware Store- Long Island General Store at 12-22 Astoria Blvd. 40 minutes into the fire an explosion occured, this took the life of 3 firemen and injured many more. The Safety Battalion's responsibility, in addition to firefighting duties, is investigating line of duty injuries and deaths. Following this fire, Chief Stack was on administrative detail to conduct his investigation of the fire that took place on June 17th which is known as The Father's Day Fire.

On September 11th, 2001, Chief Stack reported to his office at the Brooklyn Navy Yard ready to put his final report together on the Father's Day fire when the 1st plane flew into the tower. The view from the Brooklyn Navy Yard is lower Manhattan. All members in the firehouse went up to the roof. Larry had his binoculars with him and as he was watching the horror unfold, the 2nd plane struck the other tower. Larry turned to the others and said, "We will be needed, we need to go", and off they went. 

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