“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

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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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Mysterious man in Red Bandana

 

You have heard many stories about the heroic acts on 9/11, but did you hear about the mysterious man in the red bandana? Welles Crowther was working as an American Equities trader on 9/11/01 at the World Trade Center. Truth be told, the 24 year old wasn't looking forward to a desk job for the rest of his life. He had further dreams, and plenty of time to fulfill them. When he turned 16, Welles joined the Volunteer Fire Service, joining the footsteps of his father at Nyack Empire Hook & Ladder company.

At the age of 6, Welles' father gave him a red bandana which stayed with him through the years. It became his signature trademark, a link between father and son. While playing lacrosse at Boston College, Welles wore his bandana under his helmet. In 1999, he graduated with honors degree in economics, which led to his career at the World Trade Center; his office was on the 104th floor of the South Tower. At 9:03am on September 11th, 2001, United flight 175 struck the South Tower between floors 78 & 85. Welles called his mother at 9:12am and left a calm message assuring his family he was OK. He fought the smoke and flames down to the 78th floor sky lobby, where he found survivors. Crowther left his trading career in his office and his firefighting bloodlines took over. He was ready to do his job, the calling that was sent for him at a young age. In an authoritive voice, he directed ambulatory patients to the A stairway which he previously descended from his office. He used his red bandana to cover his nose and mouth, and was carrying a woman down 15 flights. Welles job wasn't done, knowing the danger his life was in, he put it aside and went back up to rescue more. 

In May, the New York Times published accounts of 9/11 which Welles' parents were reading. 1 account stood out. Judy Wein, a survivor from the South Tower noted a mysterious man in a red bandana coming to the aide of numerous people. His parents knew immediately, they found what their son was doing before he died.

December 15th, 2006, Commissioner Scoppetta and Chief Cassano posthumously named Welles Crowther Honorary Firefighter with the FDNY. Following Welles' death, his family found a partially filled out application to take the test for the FDNY. Knowing it would be a huge pay cut, Welles' still planned to follow his dream. 

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