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“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

NYC Fire Wire

News, Events, Announcements

Defib saves the life of a firefighter who requested to have them installed just months before

Staut2 FF Bill Staudt.

Well all know that firefighters are trained to save lives — sometimes it’s each others’, but sometimes it can be their own.

A longtime member of the FDNY may have been saved simply by asking that his building be equipped with a defibrillator.

For 36 years, Bill Staudt made a career of stepping into harm’s way.

“I’m a firefighter, proud to be a firefighter,” he told CBS2.

Never in a million years did he imagine it would be him who had to be saved on the job. That day came on a Thursday last September at an FDNY research and development building in Queens.

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Career criminal who killed FDNY EMT fit to stand trial

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The career criminal charged with fatally running over a beloved FDNY*EMS EMT with her own ambulance is mentally fit to stand trial, a psychiatrist hired by the Bronx district attorney’s office testified Thursday.

Jose Gonzalez, 25, told the psychiatrist that the prosecutors seeking to lock him up for life are “evil people,” explained Dr. Nicole Charder, who also works for the state’s Office of Mental Health.

Gonzalez is charged with murder, manslaughter and robbery for his deadly encounter with EMT Yadira Arroyo on March 16, 2017.

In jail he has made several phone calls that show “he could be feigning or exaggerating some of his psychiatric symptoms,” said assistant district attorney George Suminski.

“I can get by & I can go to the hospital & I can beat the case,” he said in one recorded phone call.

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FDNY's Bravest makes supreme sacrifice

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When Ladder Co. 170 arrived at the scene of a car crash on the Belt Parkway Sunday night, the firefighters immediately ran toward the crumpled remains of an SUV on the opposite side.

As the FDNY’s Bravest crossed over a pair of Jersey barriers separated by a 3-foot gap, the unthinkable happened.

“I just heard, ‘Oh, my God! Oh, my God! A firefighter fell, he fell through, he fell through,’ ” car-crash victim Travis Simms .

Firefighter Steven Pollard, 30, fell through the space dividing the eastbound and westbound lanes on the parkway’s overpass bridge and plummeted 52 feet to the ground.

He died a short time later at Kings County Hospital.

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NYS Smoke detector law going into effect

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Homeowners & landlords will soon need to swap out their smoke detectors for upgraded 10-year sealed models, thanks to a new New York State law going into effect this year.

The law says that starting April 1, 2019 all new or replacement smoke detectors in New York State must be powered by a 10-year, sealed, non-removable battery or hardwired to the home.

Homeowners & landlords must upgrade their smoke detectors before selling or renting homes and apartments in New York State.

The upgraded smoke detector alarms include a sealed lithium battery with a 10-year lifespan.

While these 10-year smoke detectors have a larger upfront cost than traditional alarms powered by replaceable batteries, the lack of yearly battery changes makes them cheaper over the life of the device.

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Street alarm box, still working, still trusted

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It is being reported that Boston Fire Dept responded to a working fire at 5:15a at Endicott Street in the North End, this response was initiated by Box Alarm Readout System (BARS). The media is refering to this system as 'antiquated', however, this morning there was widespread 911 outages in the Boston area. While it may appear to be antiquated, once again, the tried & true independant system has proven it's worth in the Fire Service as firefighters arrived to heavy smoke pouring out of the building.

Every so often, the battle to keep the boxes comes up in New York City. For the mechanical boxes, when you pull it, it sends the box number to the Boro central office. Based on the box number, the specific assignment responds. Yes, they do not know what they are going to, but they are going. These boxes are independently powered at each boro central office. With the ERS boxes, you can push NYPD(blue button) or FDNY(red button) & verbally speak with the dispatcher to report the incident.

Yes, these days, everyone has a cell phone, but as proven this morning in Boston, modern technology doesn't always work. In addition- 911, Fire & EMS dispatchers are overworked across the country.

Related links:

Boston sporatic 911 outage 12/28/18 https://www.boston25news.com/news/911-outage-impacting-massachusetts-here-s-how-to-call-for-help/895421967

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Patches for Evan

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Philly Fire Engine 33 is helping the 10-year-old remember his father & honor his legacy with a unique collection effort.

These Christmas ornaments are precious indeed, but nowhere near as irreplaceable as the face that they frame.

“It’s been weird not having him around,” said Evan Potter.

Evan’s father, Michael, died suddenly in January of 2016. He was a marine corps veteran & a proud Philadelphia firefighter.

For the holidays this year, Evan's wish is simple, to fill up his board of fire company patches, to collect them just like his dad did.

“If we would go on vacation somewhere, he [Michael] always visited the fire station and got a patch or a tee shirt & he gave one from Philly,” said Amanda Potter, Evan’s mother.

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High levels of toxic mercury found in home of suspected poison victims: FDNY

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The Queens air-conditioning-company owner accused of trying to poison a family with mercury loaded so much of the toxic metal into their AC unit that levels in the air soared to more than 60 times the regulated standards, an FDNY lieutenant testified Wednesday.

Lt. John Cassidy of the FDNY’s HAZMAT unit testified in Queens Criminal Court Wednesday that when he tested the air inside the Jamaica Estates home in 2015, he found mercury levels to be over 60 micrograms-per-meter-cubed in every room in the house.

The Centers for Disease Control has advised that anything over one microgram-per-meter cubed is unsafe.

After finding “multiple small beads” of mercury inside the unit’s intake vent, Cassidy advised the family to stay away from the house until the Department of Health gave them clearance to return.

Yuriy Kruk, the owner of A+ HVAC and Kitchen Corporation, installed the new AC unit inside Roman Pinkhasov’s elegant Jamaica Estates home in July 2015. Soon after, the homeowner and his family came down with a mysterious illness.

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Researchers study presence of fluorinated chemicals in firefighter clothing

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Scientists at the University of Notre Dame will begin an independent study of turnout gear worn by firefighters after initial samples tested positive for fluorine.

Graham Peaslee, a professor of experimental nuclear physics at the University of Notre Dame, and his lab tested fabric swatches taken from unused personal protective gear for the presence of perfluorinated alkyl substances (PFASs).

“The results were phenomenal — off the scale in parts per million of fluorine in all but one of the samples,” Peaslee said. “Everything was just loaded with fluorine.” Following the initial tests, Peaslee is leading a study of new and used turnout and personal protective gear issued throughout the 2000s, including jackets, pants and undershirts — all of which are either new or have been in service for more than a decade.  

Various forms of PFASs have been linked to prostate, kidney and testicular cancers, as well as thyroid disease and low birthweight. The chemicals are commonly associated with stain-resistant products and the manufacture of nonstick cookware. In 2017, Peaslee was one of several researchers who uncovered the presence of PFASs in fast-food wrappers.

The chemicals are also a component of aqueous film-forming foams. These foam fire suppressants have been linked to incidents of contaminated drinking water. In Michigan, where a number of communities have traced water contamination to the use of the foam, some fire officials are working to limit its use or to use alternative, PFAS-free formulas when possible. The United States Air Force began phasing out PFAS-based foam for an environmentally safer alternative in 2016, and finished replacing its stock in 2017.

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FDNY Marine Division inspect engine fire on board a ship

tanker U.S. Coast Guard Photo courtesy of Coast Guard Cutter Sitkinak
From the US Coast Guard:

NEW YORK — The U.S. Coast Guard and Fire Department of the City of New York (FDNY) Special Operations Command firefighters and Rescue Paramedics conducted a joint safety examination of a disabled 479-foot asphalt tanker Monday afternoon after a fire broke out in its engine room while underway in the Atlantic Ocean, Oct. 5.

Early Friday morning, watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Southeastern New England in Woods Hole, Mass., received a report that the Hong Kong-flagged tanker Feng Huang AO with 21 crew aboard, had a fire ignite in their engine room while transiting 57 miles southeast of Nantucket Island.

The ship is loaded with asphalt and was bound for New York Harbor.

The fire was extinguished using the ship’s installed carbon dioxide fire suppression system. There were no reported injuries to any crew members, and no reports of pollution. The ship’s electrical generators and main engine were disabled by the fire.

Coast Guard Cutter Legare, a 270-foot Medium Endurance Cutter, homeported in Portsmouth, Va., was diverted to the area to assist the stricken vessel.

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Retired Batt Chief celebrates his 100th birthday

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One day after the FDNY mourned the loss of its fallen brothers during the 9/11 attacks, members had a reason to celebrate. One of their own, former FDNY Chief John Nasta, celebrated his 100th birthday on Wednesday, Sept. 12 at Sofia Restaurant in Bay Ridge, surrounded by family, friends and members of the FDNY.

The smiling Brooklyn-born-and-raised centenarian spent 34 years with the FDNY and retired at the rank of battalion chief of FDNY Battalion 40 at Fourth Avenue and 51st Street in Brooklyn. At the time, he was the longest serving fire officer in FDNY history.

Nasta started his career with the FDNY in 1942, but after six months he was called to serve in the Navy during World War II. Because he had some training in the Fire Department, he was put in charge of training thousands of Navy recruits in fire safety while stationed in San Diego, before being sent to serve in Hawaii.

When the war ended he returned home to Brooklyn and began his 34-year career in the FDNY.

Nasta’s beloved wife Alice died in 2005. But with the support of his sister Gloria, nieces, nephews and close friends, he still maintains an active lifestyle.

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Firefighter siblings to be promoted the same day

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They’re going up the FDNY ladder together.

Two bravest brothers from the Rockaways will both be promoted on Friday, less than a week after they marked the passing of a third sibling — a twin to one of them — who died on 9/11.

FDNY Lt. Sean Heeran will be bumped up to captain and younger brother Firefighter William (Billy) Heeran will be promoted to lieutenant during a special ceremony at the Christian Cultural Center in East New York, Brooklyn, on Friday.

“We took the test six months apart,” Billy Heeran, 40, said Thursday. “We never thought we would get promoted together. Not in a million years.”

In attendance will be their wives, children and proud pop Bernie Heeran, a retired FDNY firefighter.

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Deputy Chief Ray Downey's son leads FDNY on 17th anniversary of dad's WTC death

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FDNY Battalion Chief Joseph Downey is only doing what his hero father did before him.As fellow family members of FDNY Deputy Chief Ray Downey mourned his loss Tuesday on the anniversary of 9/11, the younger Downey led a task force to North Carolina in advance of Hurricane Florence.“It’s a somber day, but we have to look at it as we’re doing the right thing for those we lost and our loved ones,” said Joseph Downey, leader of the Urban Search and Rescue New York Task Force. “We’re first responders. . . . We’re always there to help people, in the city or somewhere else.”Downey and an 82-member team headed south on the 17th anniversary of the World Trade Center attacks that killed his 63-year-old dad and 342 more of their FDNY colleagues. Ray Downey was a departmental legend, a 39-year veteran and nationally recognized expert on rescue operations at collapsed buildings. His team responded to the bombings in Oklahoma City and the Atlanta Olympics.“I think all of us believe that we’ve got to do what’s right, and he wasn’t the only one from this team that was lost,” said Downey of his dad, adding that some 40 of their colleagues from the squad perished in the World Trade Center collapse. “I think it’s important that we carry on their legacy.”The National Weather Service said the powerful hurricane was expected to slam into the North Carolina coastline about 8 a.m. on Friday. Downey said his team was headed toward the likely area where the hurricane was headed, adding they will redeploy depending on its path.Downey, reflecting on that September morning in 2001, recalled the massive influx of help that descended on New York in the wake of the attacks. Though the Tuesday anniversary was “a tough day for the team,” Downey made it clear there was little hesitation about helping out in the Tar Heel State.“A lot of people came in on 9/11 to help us out, and we’ve done it the last couple of years, going to other places and helping them out,” said the second-generation smoke eater.

FDNY*EMT assaulted. NYPD are seeking this man

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A city emergency medical technician was beaten by a patient and police want to find the man, authorities said Saturday.

The 55-year-old FDNY EMT was treating the boozed up man into the back of his ambulance at the corner of E. 15th St. and Kings Highway when the patient flew into a rage at 2:15 p.m. on Aug. 7, police said.

The man punched the EMT repeatedly in the chest before he jumped out of the ambulance and ran off, cops said.

The EMT was treated at Maimonides Medical Center.

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Deaths from 9/11 diseases will soon outnumber those lost on that fateful day

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Seventeen years out from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, nearly 10,000 first responders and others who were in the World Trade Center area have been diagnosed with cancer. More than 2,000 deaths have been attributed to 9/11 illnesses. 

 It will get worse. By the end of 2018, many expect that more people will have died from their toxic exposure from 9/11 than were killed on that terrible Tuesday. 

“We’re nervous,” said Dr. Michael Crane, medical director of the World Trade Center Health Program Clinical Center of Excellence at Mount Sinai. 

Robert Reeg of Stony Point, New York, knows the feeling. The retired Fire Department of New York firefighter was seriously injured in the South Tower collapse. In the last 17 years, he's seen fellow first responders who survived the attacks fall victim to the illnesses caused by the contaminants that were spewed all over. 

"You lose track, there's so many of them," the 66-year-old said. As for his own health risks, given the growing incidents of cancer among 9/11 first responders, Reeg said he doesn't dwell on it. "It's at the back of your mind. But you can't let it control you."

The average age of a 9/11 first responder is now about 55. While many people face a cancer diagnosis as they age, the rate of some cancers among first responders is up to 30 percent higher than in the general population, Crane said.

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Engine 27 originally North River Engine Company

Engine-27 Engine 27 as it sits today at 173 Franklin Street.


Among the volunteer fire companies that protected New Yorkers in the first half of the 19th century was the North River Engine Company.  Like the rest of the city’s volunteer force, the “laddies” at 173 Franklin Street were replaced in 1865.

The devastating fire that destroyed Barnum’s Museum that year along with pressure on the State Assembly by reformers resulted in the Act of 1865 that coupled Brooklyn and New York with a paid, united “Metropolitan District” fire department. 

On Friday, October 20 auctioneers R. R. Rollins & Co. sold everything in the fire house other than the equipment.  The auction announcement listed “all the Furniture of the above company, consisting of iron Bedsteads, Mattresses, Pillows, Sheets, Blankets, Spreads, Carpets, Oilcloths, Paintings, Engravings, Bookcase, Extension Table, Library, Centre Table, &c., &tc.”

The North River Engine Company was replaced by Engine 27.  The blazes battled by the professional firefighters changed as the neighborhood did.  The low houses and shops of the pre-Civil War period were replaced by loft buildings in the last quarter of the century as the Franklin Street area became the “dry-goods district.”

In 1879 the Fire Department appointed Napoleon Le Brun its official architect.  His firm became N. Lebrun & Son a year later when his son Pierre joined him in business.  Before the turn of the century they would be responsible for 42 fire houses.

By now the old North River Engine Company fire house was obsolete and on May 7, 1881 the City announced “Proposals for furnishing the materials and doing the work of erecting Engine House at 173 Franklin street” were being accepted.

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Guilty plea by 2 running the Bronx grow house explosion that killed FDNY Deputy Chief Fahy

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Two men who ran a marijuana grow house in the Bronx pleaded guilty Friday to manslaughter charges in the death of an FDNY chief when the building exploded, prosecutors said.

Garivaldi Castillo, 32, of Harlem, and Julio Salcedo, 34, of the Bronx, pleaded guilty to second-degree manslaughter and first-degree criminal possession of marijuana in Bronx Criminal Court.

As part of the plea deal hammered out by their attorneys, Castillo will be sentenced to six years in prison, and Salcedo will be sentenced to up to three years in prison.

Both were maintaining the grow house on W. 234th St. near Irwin Ave. in Kingsbridge on Sept. 27, 2016, when firefighters were called in on a report of a gas leak.

FDNY Chief Michael Fahy and a group of Emergency Services cops had just evacuated the building and were leaving the premises at 7:30 a.m. when a massive explosion blew the roof right off the home.

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Point Lookout street named in honor of FF Virginia Culkin-Spinelli

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The Town of Hempstead renamed a Point Lookout street to commemorate a local FDNY firefighter who died of a 9/11-related illness. The street sign reading “Ginny Ann Avenue,” named for Virginia Ann Culkin-Spinelli, a longtime Point Lookout resident who participated in rescue and recovery efforts at Ground Zero, was unveiled Saturday morning in an emotional ceremony. “While this is just a simple street sign, this sign will be a lasting tribute to the legacy of Ginny Ann,” said Councilwoman Erin King Sweeney (R-Wantagh). “Heroes like Ginny Ann should never be forgotten".

Councilwoman Sweeney was joined by Culkin-Spinelli's friends & family at the corner of Lynbrook Avenue, now Ginny Ann Avenue & Bayside Drive. Members of the community, the FDNY & local fire departments also were present.

"Mom has been honored in Colorado Springs, Albany & the town park", said Spinelli's daughter, Shannon Llewellyn. "This is more of an honor. It hits closer to home"

Culkin-Spinelli joined the FDNY in 1982 & was part of the 1st class of female firefighters to join the department, Sweeney said. She served Engine 226 in Brooklyn, later transfered to Engine 329 in Rockaway.

She was a member of the FDNY for 20 years, retiring to St Augustine, Florida with her husband Vincent Spinelli in 2002.

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Long Beach, CA Fire Captain shot

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"It is with deep sadness and tremendous grief that we announce that Captain David Rosa has died from injuries sustained from a gunshot wound at an emergency incident. Capt. Rosa is a 17 year veteran of our department and is assigned to Station 10." Long Beach, California Fire Chief Mike DuRee announced at a press confrence this morning. Rosa is survived by a wife & 2 children.

The Long Beach Fire Department responded to a report of an explosion & fire at a retirement home 'Covenant Manor' at 600 East 4th Street. A 2nd firefighter was in stable condition & expected to recover, a civilian is in critical condition. "That's the environment that we work in today as law enforcement & firefighters" Luna said. "You go to these scenes & you never know what's on the other side of those doors. These brave firefighters went through those doors & they were unfortunately met with gunfire."

Upon arrival, just before 4am, firefighters found a sprinkler activation & multiple windows blown out. The small fire that was left was extinguished by firefighters, members were performing overhaul & checking for extension when the shots rang out.

 

Assault Penalties warning on #FDNY Ambulances

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FDNY Adds Signs to Ambulances Warning of Assault Penalties

hareSigns will be added to the exterior of FDNY ambulances that highlight penalties for assaults against EMS personnel, officials FDNY officials announced.

The first ambulances to display the signs are assigned to Station 26 in the Bronx, where EMT Yadira Arroyo was struck and killed in March 2017 while attempting to stop the theft of her ambulance at an emergency scene.

Arroyo, a 14-year-veteran of FDNY's EMS bureau, was killed March 16, 2017 when a man jumped in to the driver's seat of her ambulance after she stopped the emergency vehicle. The man struck fatally struck Arroyo and injured a second EMS worker.

The man jumped into the ambulance and drove forward, striking an EMS worker. He then put the ambulance into reverse and backed over EMT Yadira Arroyo before speeding around the corner where he crashed into a parked vehicle.

Arroyo left five children behind.

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FDNY honors member 80 years after LODD

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FDNY firefighter Thomas F. O'Brien, who died in the line of duty in 1935, was finally recognized with a plaque during an ceremony Tuesday.

June 12 -- More than 80 years after he died in the line of duty, a Queens firefighter’s death was finally recognized by the FDNY during a ceremony at department headquarters in Brooklyn A plaque honoring Firefighter Thomas F. O’Brien was unveiled Tuesday during a brief but poignant ceremony to commemorate his death in October 1935 while fighting a fire in Manhattan. O’Brien, a widower with five children, had been living in Richmond Hills when he died. For years, the FDNY wouldn’t recognize O’Brien’s death as being in the line of duty. But after his grandson Arthur O’Brien of New Jersey hired retired Nassau County Surrogate Edward W. McCarty III to do an investigation & commence litigation, the FDNY agreed to put the deceased firefighters name on its memorial wall, along with the names of over 1,150 other firefighters who have died in the line of duty. “Relieved,” was how Arthur O’Brien described his feelings after the ceremony, which capped over a six year quest to get his grandfather honored. He was joined at the ceremony by his grandfather’s great grandchildren & great, great grandchildren.“It is like a fruition of a dream,” said O’Brien’s sister, Betty Seibold of Massapequa Park. “My brother has been working on this for so long and we had times we weren’t really sure it was doing to happen . . . This is just something that is wonderful.”

Thomas O’Brien, 48, died on October 28, 1935, hours after he suffered injuries in a fire on West 26th Street in Manhattan, apparently after he was struck on the head by falling debris. An investigation by McCarty, chronicled last year in Newsday, uncovered an autopsy report from 1935 which stated O’Brien died from a fractured skull & brain injuries suffered during the fire.

At the ceremony on Tuesday morning, Arthur O’Brien thanked not only McCarty but former city medical examiner Michael Baden, who did a recent analysis of the original autopsy results & Gerard Fitzgerald, president of the Uniformed Firefighters Association for help in talking with FDNY officials.

___ (c)2018 Newsday Visit Newsday at www.newsday.com Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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