“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

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

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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.


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Serbian Cathedral of Saint Sava 4 Alarm Fire

Serbian Cathedral of Saint Sava 4 Alarm Fire

Sunday May 1st, 2016, the FDNY responded to a 911 call reporting a Church fire at 15 W 25 Street between Broadway & 6th Aves. The fire location was the Serbian Cathedral of Saint Sava.

Constructed between 1850-1855, this Cathedral was 1st home of Trinity Chapel Complex but was sold to Serbian Eastern Orthodox parish in 1942, opening as the Cathedral of Saint Sava in 1944. In 1968, the church was listed as a New York City Landmark and  in 1982 it was added to the National Register of Historic Places.

18:49 Box 0632 was transmitted for a Church fire on West 25 Street between 6th & B'Way.

18:49 E-1, E-3, E-26, L-24, TL-7, Bn-7 assigned.

18:53 E-16, TL-21 (FAST), Rescue 1, Squad 18, Bn-6, Div.1 assigned due to numerous calls

18:53 E-1/L-24 arrived. Engine 1 officer transmitted the 10-75 (Working Fire)

18:57 2nd Alarm by Bn-7. E-14, E-34, E-65, L-3, L-4, Bn-9, Bn-2, Bn-8, E-9 with Sattelite 1, Field Com, Tac 1, Field Com Batt, Rescue Batt, Safety Batt,

E-35(Communications Unit), TL-9

19:04 All members ordered to exit the fire building, going to exterior attack.

19:04 Div.1 transmits the 3rd alarm. E-5, E-54, E-24, E-21, L-5, Bn-1, Mask Service

19:12 L-20 assigned as FAST, TL-21 being used for master stream ops. Bn-10, Bn-11, Rac 1 special called.

19:20 TL-1, TL-115 & TL-18 special called.

19:46 4th Alarm transmitted by Car 4. E-33, E-23, E-8, E-55, TL, 12, Bn-4 assigned

21:11 Fire placed Probably will hold by orders of the Chief of Department.

21:42 Fire placed Under Control by orders of the Chief of Department.

Numerous units assigned for relief purposes and to maintain a watch line through out the night and following day.

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Retired firefighter loses 9/11 cancer battle.

Retired firefighter loses 9/11 cancer battle.

Pictured: Billy Lynch E-289 now Lt in TL-17, Bobby McCarthy E-289, Kenneth Gunther TL-138 retired.

In the later part of 1996, FF Robert J McCarthy retiired from the Corona Tigers Engine 289, ending a 27 year career with the City of New York. 4 short years later, when terrorists attacked the country, McCarthy was ready to respond. He dusted off his gear and responded to the World Trade Center and worked tirelessly in the days that followed, working in vein to find survivors or remains so that a family can have closure. Once a firefighter, always a firefighter, and McCarthy's desire to help proved that on 9/11.

When the work was done, McCarthy returned to retirement with his family, until he was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer directly related to his work on 9/11. On Friday April 29th, 2016, Robert McCarthy lost the battle against cancer.

Because he was retired on 9/11, his death will not be considered Line of Duty. We are asking all FDNY brothers and sisters to turn out to bring our brother home. McCarthy was there for us on that day, he wasn't paid to be there, his duty to the City was done. He was there for us, it's time for us to be there for him; to thank him and his family for the sacrifice they made. Please post/share this funeral information; get the word out there.

Funeral Arrangements are as follows:

Wake: William E Law Funeral Home. 1 Jerusalem Ave Massapequa, NY

Monday 7p-9p. Tuesday 2p-4p & 7p-9pm.

Funeral: Maria Regina Church 3945 Jerusalem Ave Seaford, NY at 10am.


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Sweet spot #2. Veniero's Pasticceria & Caffé

The 2nd edition of NYC Fire Wire's Sweet Spot series goes to the East Village in Manhattan. Veniero's Pasticceria & Cafe's products speak for itself. It's home is in Manhattan's East Village at 342 East 11 Street just off 1st Avenue and it has been there since it opened in 1894. That's over 100 years of producing mouth watering bites.

I made it my tradition to stop here during holiday's to bring home to the family, or even a stop to bring desert when taking details to other firehouses. There is so much to choose from and it's all delishious. Usually when going to other firehouses, I would pick up their macaroons, regular and dipped in chocolate. So fresh and chewy, you can't just have 1 so make sure you get enough! My first cake from here was their Italian Cheesecake. This isn't like traditional cheesecake because it is made from Ricotta cheese. It's lighter than regular cheesecake but boy, oh so good. Another is their carrot cake. Still by-far the best I have ever had.

Want to give it a try for the holiday's? Well, we can assure you one thing, you will not be disappointed. Review the menu before you get there, there will be a line and it usually moves well when people know what they came for. You can call ahead to save time. Otherwise, take a number and stand in line. You can special order cakes for events or just stop in for coffee/tea. Featuring Veniero's as our Sweet Spot is a no brainer; we wish everyone could experience this- the history, family, tradition, and ofcourse, the food. Whether your going to impress someone or just your belly, Veniero's is the place for it.

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