“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

Featured

An Afternoon to remember

An Afternoon to remember

June 5, 2016-

2 weeks ago, I had the week of my life. It started with the Answer the Call 2016 Soiree, the NYC Firefighter & Police Widows & Children's fund benefit ( https://www.facebook.com/AnswerTheCallNYC/?fref=ts ). We were asked to attend and gladly accepted. In addition to helping such an awesome foundation, I had the opportunity to meet my childhood hero Mark Messier. It was only Tuesday and I thought to myself, this is it, the highest point possible of the week, even year. I had no idea what was in store for me later on

That Saturday started out as a typical day tour in Midtown, not a second to enjoy a cup of coffee to start the tour before the tones went off and computer spit out our assignment. At around 11, I got a phone call that a visitor would be stopping by, but, as usual, we were finishing up another run. When we made it back to the firehouse, Tim Hogan, his wife and 2 children were there waiting. Tim, now Lieutenant, was a firefighter in Brooklyn 2 years ago when we 1st met (via facebook). NYC Fire Wire was contacted about a firefighter whose family was going through a difficult time. In early 2013, Tim's son Owen was diagnosed with Severe Aplastic Anemia. Aplastic Anemia is a disorder in which the body stops producing blood cells. It can result in fatigue, easy bruising, poor clotting and impair the body's ability to fight infection. Owen's aplastic anemia is life threatening. We (NYC Fire Wire) were prepared to do what ever it took. While Owen stole my heart, I was also concerned for Tim and his wife Kathleen. As a parent, I could only imagine what they were going through. We used Fire Wire, whether it was for the little things like prayers, facebook comments for words of encouragement, or anything. I was finally in contact with Tim and able to offer whatever was in our power. We were successful in everything we did. That Saturday, I was not only suprised by their visit, but also to learn that this June 2016 marks 6 months since Owen was under the microscope. 6 months since he had any treatment, needles, anything!

The Little things: Tim said that Owen was a brave warrior through the whole thing. He battled Cancer like a 3am fire with people trapped; he went head first and didn't quit until the fire was out. But when he was scared, he found his support in a video. He downloaded an app called "Whopping Fire Trucks" and there was a video of Engine 54 going on a run. As they were pulling out, they noticed someone recording them, so the nozzle & back-up man gave each other thumbs up and a high five. At the moment, it was just an innocent quirky thing, but Owen saw it and immediately loved it. When ever he was scared, Tim played the video for Owen, and they would high five each other and give each other a thumbs up, and Owen was ready to go into battle with his parents backing him up. (There is soooo many video's of 54/4 responding, I'm having trouble finding the video on youtube to show you.)

During Owen's visit to the firehouse, I made sure he had a great time because I just had to see that smile on his face. We played in the rig and Owen and his brother Ethan got to hit Tim and I with the extinguisher. We even got to do the thumbs up, high five that he saw in the video.

When I met them for the first time at the firehouse, I was more star struck then I was when I met Messier. I didn't think it was possible to top that event on Tuesday, but my day with Owen did. The strength this family has, it's real inspirational. Ethan was an infant when this began, Tim was even promoted to Lieutenant, and I'm sure he wasn't able to fully enjoy the promotion with everything going on. But they pulled through, and are now returning to normal life. Owen gets to grow up (and hopefully joins us in the FDNY). 

NYC Fire Wire is there for the FDNY and it's family, as are other great foundations. You can read more about Owen and his fight: http://aheroforowen.com/ or check out the facebook page A Hero for Owen https://www.facebook.com/AHeroForOwen/?fref=ts .

Also, please check out Lil Bravest http://lilbravest.com/ facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Lil-Bravest-172804942863101/ . Lil' Bravest Inc was founded by brothers in Engine 84/Ladder 34. The goal is to improve the quality of life for children who are hospitalized or being treated for childhood diseases. The goal is to put a smile on the faces of kids who are going through a very difficult time. These kids are the true heroes and the funds raised by this foundation go directly to improving their quality of life.

 

Continue reading
5901 Hits
0 Comments

Retired Captain ordained as Priest

Retired Captain ordained as Priest

Sunday May 29th, 2016: During a service at St. Patricks Cathedral on 5th Avenue, FDNY Retired Captain Thomas Colucci was ordained into priesthood. And, without question, his brothers and sisters of the FDNY came out to support him. Captain Colucci served with the FDNY for 20 years, starting his career in Kingsbridge assigned to Engine 81. After 5 years in the Engine he crossed the floor to Tower Ladder 46 and 4 years later was promoted to Lieutenant, assigned to Engine 3. On 9/11/01, 5 members from Colucci's house (Engine 3/Tower Ladder 12/Battalion 7), never made it back. Lt Colucci spent months at Ground Zero searching for his brothers. Following 9/11, the department underwent a major restructuring, rebuilding of the department to replace the brothers lost. In May 2002, Colucci was promoted to Captain and found his new home in Tower Ladder 21. Ladder 21 lost all members working on 9/11/01. Over the next few years, Captain Colucci worked with brave men to mend broken hearts, dealing with the loss of their bothers while continuing to do the duty of protecting Hells Kitchen on Manhattan's West Side. After 20 years on the job, Captain Colucci had to retire after he suffered a brain injury from an explosion he was at. Colucci says his decision to enter Priesthood was made in response to everything he saw on 9/11. "On 9/11 you saw the worst of humanity; then you saw the best. People say 'Where was Christ that day'; I think he was there in rescuers".

For a copy of any picture in this article, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Continue reading
9620 Hits
0 Comments

Elevator Shaft fall in Brooklyn

Elevator Shaft fall in Brooklyn

Shortly after 8pm, Brooklyn box 1251 was transmitted as a 5-7 signal for EMS Rescue, Squad 1 & Tower Ladder 105 assigned to 841 Union Street between 6 & 7th Aves. Upon arrival, Squad 1 found a 4 year old child in cardiac arrest in an elevator shaft. The child got away from the family, slipped in a 10 inch gap between the elevator and the floor, and fell 3 stories. EMS 48boy, 48rescue, Conditions 32 and 48willie responded and transported the child to Methodist Hospital. Local media is reporting the child is listed in critical condition.

Continue reading
2974 Hits
0 Comments

FDNY Battalion Chief seeks Doctor who saved his life

FDNY Battalion Chief seeks Doctor who saved his life

Kevin McNamara, a New York City firefighter who is in the business of saving lives, is now looking for the guardian angel who saved his.

On Jan. 25, while vacationing at Great Wolf Lodge in Scotrun, Pennsylvania, he was approached by a dermatologist — "a redhead or strawberry blond" — who noticed a nasty looking mole on his back and told him he should see a doctor.

McNamara took her advice and was diagnosed with melanoma, the most dangerous kind of skin cancer. Because he acted so quickly and had the mole removed, the 42-year-old father has a healthy future.

"I had a guardian angel that day," said McNamara, a fire chief at the 4th Battalion in Manhattan. "This could have possibly been a disaster and I have two young kids.

"I would love to just give her a great thanks and a hug," he told TODAY.

McNamara said he tried to find the mystery skin doctor the next day and even called the hotel for their guest list, but had no luck. He described her as short — "5-foot two to 5-foot six" and "about 35 to 45" years old.

"I'm not a detective, but she must be from the Tri-State area [New York, New Jersey or Pennsylvania]," he said.

Melanoma kills one person every hour in the United States. It is the fifth most common cancer among men and the seventh among women, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. But if detected early, it is 98 percent curable.

McNamara's mole was a dark brownish color, about the size of a quarter.

"I thought it was just a birthmark," he said, and "blew off" concerns from his wife and mother, who is a nurse.

That was until the Good Samaritan decided to speak up while he and his wife, Shawn, and their children, Sarah, 4, and Blake, 9 months, were at the water park in the Poconos.

"It was a Monday afternoon and my daughter and I were having a great time in the wave pool," he said. "I don't know where this lady came from, but she patted me on the back and said, 'I don't want to ruin your vacation, but you have a melanoma on your back and you should get it checked out. I am not telling you this out of the blue — I'm a dermatologist.'"

And then the stranger walked away.

Two days later, he saw a dermatologist, then contacted Memorial Sloan Kettering Medical Center for a biopsy to see if the cancer had penetrated the skin.

"At the fire department, we don't fool around," he said.

Waiting for biopsy results, "was the worst," but in the end, the cancer had not spread. On March 1, Dr. Anthony Rossi successfully removed the mole.

"He said I was lucky she told me," said McNamara. "If I didn't get it checked out, it might have been invasive and I'd be on chemotherapy now."

'Classic' case of melanoma

Dr. Darrel Rigel, a clinical dermatologist at New York University Medical Center, who did not treat McNamara, said he was not surprised the mystery dermatologist spoke up.

"My mother is retired and lives in Arizona and I frequently see people with melanomas walking around the pool," he told TODAY. "I usually say something."

He said McNamara fits the "classic" case of melanoma. "It's common on men's backs because the moles don't get noticed."

By occupation, the disease is most prevalent among firefighters, because of sun exposure or toxic chemicals, as well as airline pilots, perhaps because of radiation at high altitudes, Rigel said.

Those who are fair with freckling — known as "Fitzpatrick type 1 skin," named for a Boston doctor — are at higher risk.

McNamara, although half-Italian, laughingly noted he had "my grandmother's cheap Irish skin" and never worried about the sun.

"I am the one playing baseball outside with no shirt on, thinking it was no big deal," he said.

Now, McNamara, wears "all the long-sleeve UV shirts" and wears a hat because "you have to protect the dome." He also uses the maximum sunscreen.

He even got the attention of his men at the fire department, who now get regular checks with a dermatologist.

McNamara said he knows it's a "shot in the dark" to find the doctor who saved his life, "but I want to thank her."

"I do believe God had a hand in it and that most people if given the opportunity would help a fellow human being if it meant saving that person's life," he said. "I am forever grateful to that woman, and I can hopefully pass on that gift to someone someday."

ABCs: When is a mole melanoma?

(Courtesy of the American Academy of Dermatology)

A is for Asymmetry: One half doesn't match the other.

B is for Border irregularity: The edges are ragged, notched or blurred.

C is for Color that varies from one area to another.

D is for Diameter: Melanomas are usually greater than 6 millimeters (the size of a pencil eraser) when diagnosed, but they can be smaller.

E is for Evolving: Look for a mole or skin lesion that looks different from the rest or is changing in size, shape or color.

See full article http://www.today.com/health/melanoma-mystery-who-doctor-who-saved-nyc-firefighter-s-life-t92591

Continue reading
3545 Hits
0 Comments

NYC honors Charles Keating IV

NYC honors Charles Keating IV

Special Warfare Operator 1st Class (SEAL) Charlie Keating IV was Killed in Action on Tuesday May 3rd, 2016 when his team was called in on a rescue mission.  A team of less than a dozen US Military advisers came under attack in Iraq Tuesday from more than 100 ISIS fighters and SEAL Keating IV was part of the force sent in to rescue them. All advisers made it back. Keating did not.  Keating is a decorated combat veteran who decided to enlist following the attacks on America on 9/11/01.

Thursday, May 12th, a memorial service was held at St Patricks Cathedral on 5th Avenue in Midtown Manhattan. FDNY & NYPD turned out to honor Keating's sacrifice for this country. Local area companies brought the rigs down including Engine 8/Ladder 2/Battalion 8, Engine 54/Ladder 4/Battalion 9, Rescue 1, Engine 23 & Squad 18. The FDNY Emerald Society Pipes & Drums played their farewell to Keating as well.

On Wednesday, the Chief of Naval Personnel announced Keating will be posthumously promoted to Chief Pety Officer.

 2.jpg

Continue reading
962 Hits
0 Comments
Go to top