“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

Blizzard of 1888

1888 Blizard

The Blizzard of 1888

The great blizzard of 1888, which began March 12th, 1888, created a condition which made it almost impossible for the department to respond to fire alarms & resulted in such an incongruous situation as a 3rd alarm fire raging through 2 5 story buildings on West 42nd Street with only 3 pieces of apparatus on the scene.

21 inches of snow fell in under 24 hours with wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour.

During the 1st 5 days of practically impassable streets, there were 45 fires. The situation was such as to call for extra-ordinary efforts on the part of the Uniformed Force under Chief of Department Charles O Shay, who promptly took all possible precautions. Leaves of absence were suspended, a large number of horses & sleighs of all kinds were obtained & a special corps of telegraph linemen was put at work restoring the fire alarm system.

A testimonial of the New York Board of Fire Underwriters commended the "heroic efforts of the firemen -- in so successfully coping with almost insurmountable difficulties during the period of peril to the City".

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Windsor Hotel fire of 1899

Windsor Hotel

At 3:14pm on Saint Patrick's Day in 1899, the Signal Station at 5th Avenue & 46th Street was received & transmitted by the Manhattan Fire Alarm Office.

Firemen, some still in their dress uniforms from the parade, made heroic rescues. 

Within 2 minutes, Engine 65, the 1st due company was stretching in to the 5th Avenue entrance of the Windsor Hotel, which occupied the block front from 46th to 47th Streets. 5th Avenue was filled with the holiday crowd & there does not seem to have been any long delay in pulling hte box, and yet when Engine 65 turned into the Avenue, people were already jumping from the upper floor windows.

The fire, which had started in the basement, spread with lightening like rapidity until the entire building occupied by the hotel was involved as well as buildings on the side streets. By 5pm, the building was a complete loss.

50-90 people lost their lives in this fire & rescues were made. For the skill & daring of the work which they performed, Firemen William C Clark & Edward Ford of Ladder 20, Bartholomew McDermott of Ladder 21 were decorated & the names of 28 members were added to the Roll of Merit.

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SI Man suing because he jumped out of a moving ambulance

A Staten Island man who allegedly jumped from a moving ambulance is suing the city for allowing the incident to take place. (Staten Island Advance/Hilton Flores)
Staten Island man sues city after jumping from ambulance 

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- A Staten Island man who allegedly jumped from a moving ambulance is suing the city for allowing the incident to take place.

Yaugeni Kralkin, 54, who admitted in court papers that he had been drinking alcohol prior to the incident, claims the responding emergency medical technicians (EMTs), acted in "an unprofessional manner," the legal claim states.

He is suing the city, the city Fire Department and the responding EMTs in Staten Island Supreme Court for unspecified damages.

According to court papers, Kralkin was allegedly found by the EMTs on June 11, at about 1:05 p.m. "sitting on the ground, uninjured, with unsteady gait" outside 106 Dawson Circle in Bulls Head.

"Police removed alcohol from (Kralkin's) bag, and escorted him to the ambulance because he was being uncooperative," the court papers say.

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Week in Review - 10/24 - 10/30/16


As we move into the cold season, activity for the FDNY always picks up. This past week, companies responded to all sorts of incidents requiring hard work and special units. Let's look back at what happened in the Big Apple:

Monday October 24th:

Manhattan - 1 All Hands

Bronx - 1 All Hands

Staten Island - 2 All Hands

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3 rescues in 24 hours

3 rescues in 24 hours

Wednesday October 26th, 2016 was a significantly cold day when compared to others this October.

Confined Space, Brooklyn, NY - Just before 1pm, Brooklyn CO transmitted box 3241 for the Coney Island Wastewater Treatement Plant at 2602 Knapp Street. A worker fell into a treatment tank. FDNY deployed divers into the contaminated tank and recovered the male. EMS performed CPR and transported. The male was pronounced dead at the hospital. This was a confined space water rescue requiring decontamination of members operating.

Queens House Fire - As the Brooklyn Incident was wrapping up, Box 8903 in Queens was transmitted for a house fire. The Vipers Nest Eng.302/Lad 155 arrived 1st due to 2 floors of fire in a private dwelling. FF Gerard McManus, TL-155 gained entry to the rear of 133-05 140 Street and conducted a search for fire when he discovered a male prone on the floor. FF McManus single handedly removed the victim to the awaiting EMS. The EMS members sucessfully revived the man who is last listed in stable condition at the hospital.

1800hrs, the day tour of the FDNY ends and night tour begins. With what started as a regular tour became filled with fire in the wee hours of the morning on the Upper East Side/Yorkville section of Manhattan. 5am tone alarm in the firehouse sends companies with Engine 53/Ladder 43 1st due to 324 E 93rd Street for a fire. Upon arrival, fire was found on multiple floors traveling through the walls. Early reports were fire Basement, 1st floor and visible from the bulkhead. With a fire traveling the voids in the walls, it is extremely  important to open the roof to see how far the fire has advanced. While members from Ladders 26 & 43 & Rescue 1 were operating on the roof, a victim appeared at a rear window. Conventional methods of rescue were hampered by rapidly extending fire, leaving the roof members to attempt a life saving rescue using the Life Saving Rope. Conditions on the roof were poor visiblity with smoke, high heat and visible flames, but a life needed to be rescued. While the roof men & Ladder Company Chaufeur looking for a susbstantial object to secure the rope operation, FF Lee, Rescue 1, secured himself into the lowering end of the rope. As if the smoke/heat/fire wasn't enough of a challenge, it was determined no substantial object was present in this non-fireproof building The members on the roof would have to work together to secure the operation with no substantial object, putting all members in the operation as well as the member being lowered off the building at great risk. FF Lee was lowered off the rear of the building but the guide man on the roof could not keep an eye to guide the operation due to the smoke and heat, so a member was positioned in the rear relaying commands via handie talkie. When FF Lee with victim aboard reached the ground, the rope broke from exposure to the high heat. All members and the victim had a higher power following them during this operation to allow it to end like this. Unfortunately, 1 victim was located inside the fire who was pronounced dead on arrival. 

The FDNY handled additional fires including a 2 Alarm fire at a  duplex apartment in the Village, Scrap yard in Queens, a garage on Oceanview Ave in Brooklyn, a junkyard in Hunts Point and another house in Queens on 110 Rd off 153 St.  

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