“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

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

Fahy

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.

Former Fireman's Hall

Firemans-Hall3 Present day 155 Mercer Street



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If these walls could talk- there are many buildings that have been around since before the paid Fire Department of the City of New York was organized that are still being used today. Then, there are some, no longer firehouses but still hold it's history inside the 4 walls. 1 building in particular at 155 Mercer Street, still shows signs of what it once was, 'Fireman's Hall'.

Present day 155 Mercer Street is a clothing store with bright lights, but if you look beyond that, on the front facade, you can still see 'Fireman's Hall' carved into the building, spelling out it's rich history. January 6th, 1854, construction contracts were signed to build a new Fireman's Hall to replace the old building. A box was placed into the cornerstone containing the history of the New York Fire Department since 1816, a history of the old Fireman's Hall, a bible, a copy of the US Constitution & a score of other documents including copies of the local newspaper.

The ground floor would house New York Hose Company 5 & Ladder Company 6 of the Volunteer Department. Each company is to have 15x90ft, which will be divided in 3 rooms. The front room for the apparatus, the centre room for their meetings & the room in the rear for sitting & reading.

The 2nd floor would contain a large meeting room, 38x71ft for meetings of the representatives, engineers & foremen, & the Exempt Firemen's Association. The 3rd floor held an identical sized room used as a library & reading room & smaller rooms for the librarian & committees.

The front of the building is to be Connecticut brownstone, cut in the best manner. The style of arcitecture is Italian, or composition of Greek & Roman details applied by the Italians to modern buildings.

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Fatal Bronx fire declared arson

The Bronx fire that killed one person and injured two others was deemed arson, FDNY officials announced Sunday.

The blaze broke out Saturday around 1:30 p.m., on the second floor of the five-story building at 2216 Adams Place in Tremont.

Firefighters rushed to the scene and removed three people from the same apartment, including a 50-year-old man who suffered burns throughout his body. The victim was pronounced dead at St. Barnabas Hospital.

A man and a woman, both 50, were also transported to St. Barnabas, where one was listed in critical condition and the other suffered serious, but non-life threatening injuries, an FDNY spokeswoman said.

The FDNY announced on Twitter Sunday that the fire was “incendiary.” The NYPD is investigating who started the fire, and why.

FDNY chief donates gear to South American firefighters

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A Bronx Battalion Chief has dedicated his career to helping other firefighters become better at their job. 

Battalion Chief Danny Sheridan of the 3rd battalion out of Hunts Point has been with the FDNY for 32 years. 

He says after Sept. 11 he provided supplies and equipment to firefighters in less developed countries in South America as a way to give back.

His efforts also led him to Ecuador where he educated firefighters about FDNY best practices.

“They (other firefighters abroad) were literally running around in shorts and flip-flops with bandanas around their faces. They were just shooting water everywhere, there were hoses everywhere. So I thought to myself, there has got to be a better way," Sheridan says.

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Family of fallen FDNY hero seeks refuge on family boat

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Fallen FDNY hero Christopher Raguso — killed in a helicopter crash in Iraq during a stint with the Air National Guard — often sought refuge from the haunting memories of his service aboard his boat.

Now, the family he left behind can try to do the same.

Fresh off a major overhaul — provided free of charge by a fellow volunteer firefighter — Raguso’s Edgewater 185 power boat was presented back to Raguso’s wife, two young daughters, and brother Sunday afternoon on Long Island.

He’s seen a lot of death and destruction, and he had that thousand-yard stare a lot,” John Raguso told The Post of his late son.

“The smile on his face was ear-to-ear as he took his wife and his two little girls out there and went water-skiing and clamming and catching sea robins, and just exploring. That’s what he loved to do,” he said.

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Blizzard of 1888

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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

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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

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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.  

To America, Love Russia

Have you heard of the Tear Drop Memorial, or the Tear of Grief? This is a 10 story scuplture given to the United States as an Official Gift of the Russian Government as a memorial to the victims of 9/11 attacks and the 93 WTC Bombing. Groundbreaking on this monument was done September 16th 2005 at the Cruise Ship Terminal in Bayonne, NJ. The ground breaking was attended by Vladimir Putin and it was dedicated September 11, 2006.

It is 10 stories, 100ft made of steel coated in bronze, split with a jagged opening through the middle. Inside the opening hangs a large nickel teardrop 40ft high. Along the base is granite name plates on which are etched the names of those who died in the 2 attacks on 9/11/01 and 1993 WTC Bombing. 

The view from the memorial park is one of a kind. From the south looking up towards Manhattan, You can watch the Statue of Liberty, WTC, Memorial Lights & Empire State Building, all in 1 shot. 

The location of the monument is not easy to get to, it is at the end of the cruise terminal with nothing else around. If there is no ship at port, you'll feel as if you don't belong there. But, in my opinion, it is definately worth the trip!

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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Statistics from 9/11

2,753 Lifes lost in NYC on September 11th 2001.

291 Bodies found intact

Only 12 of the bodies found intact could be identified by sight.

21,906 Remains found

1,717 Families got no remains

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9/11 Dealing with PTSD.

Everyone deals with depression in their own way. As the anniversary of 9/11 quickly approaches, I would like to share my story of dealing with PTSD, and I manage it every anniversary.

I only worked at the site for a day on 9/12/01, and what I saw will stay with me forever. I can remember 9/11/02 was a restless day and very depressing. On 9/11/03, I decided not to sit around and cry, so I drove into Brooklyn. I found a park in Brooklyn Heights that had a great view of Lower Manhattan. There were a lot of other New Yorkers there, candles were lit and we just watched our City and the skyline that will never be the same. I had a camera with me, in the early 2000's, digital cameras were up and coming. So I took a few pictures. Little did I know, this was me dealing with my PTSD. I was still depressed but I managed to find something to occupy my night and kind of keep me occupied. 9/11/04, I ended up doing the same thing and to this day, I plan accordingly. Since I became an FDNY Firefighter, I got creative. I spent a lot of money on a good camera. During the day I spend the anniversary with my firehouse family as we remember everyone who was lost from the firehouse that day. At night, I do the same thing I did on 9/11/03. 9/11/13, I reached out to a friend on the Fire Boat and they took me out around Manhattan. 9/11/14 & 9/11/15, I went to New Jersey.

While I have plenty of pictures, I will continue the tradition. What took place on that day was nothing but the best of the FDNY and the Country's Fire Service. Members in different capacities gave it their all. Some were working, some weren't. Some were retired, working at the WTC as Fire Safety Directors, others were on injury at Headquarters and still responded. Retired members from home who didn't have to come out, did. An actor/former FDNY Firefighter turned the cameras off and went to his former firehouse to help. On 9/11/01, I responded as a volunteer from Long Island, I met a lot of other members from departments in NY, NJ and across the country.

Below are pictures I have taken. There are 3 pictures that I took from 2003 at the park. We lost members right after 9/11 to PTSD suicide. I wish I could turn back the clock and tell them, there is another way, but I understand their pain.... we all do. If anyone struggles, the FDNY CTU is there for you. Don't deal with it alone, because your not. 

God bless America

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The never ending disaster... 15 years later

15 years ago, on September 11th, 2001, the United States of America took a terrorist hit from radical extremists. This event was felt worldwide; and as a Country- we saw the best and the worst humanity has to offer. Through tragedy, the good hearts stood out and shined brightly. From 1st responders to volunteers, whether it was every day civilians to medical professionals, we all rose to the occation. Funds were set up, musicians and celebrities put on a concert to raise money (The Concert for America). It was a time when we united to recover and respond. Through the dust and rubble rose the stars and stripes, a symbol that we will not back down. 

15 years later, we are still recovering. There are many out there that do not realize, hearts are still sore. Our brothers/sisters/mothers/fathers are still dying, many others suffering and fighting cancer and other various illnesses. A dose of reality, that you *hopefully* will never feel, is when you go to the Cancer Center and see friends/co-workers there. That is what is happening today! More than 150 NYC Firefighters have lost their lives to post-9/11 illness. Many are actively fighting. Some recieved their date of death from the doctors but are still here because they refuse to give up.

In a sense, the nightmare that was 9/11/01 is still happening. I feel the need to write this because, perhaps Facebook has changed something in their marketing scheme, or there really are sneaky people out there that see money in tragedy. Over the past few weeks, I have seen advertising posts from pages I have not 'liked' on Facebook, advertising a 9/11 15th Anniversary t-shirt. An Anniversary t-shirt is a great idea, to keep the memory alive, provided the motive behind the shirt is respectable ie: Proceeds to a foundation so that they may reach those who lived the tragedy and are fighting to live. Unfortunately, we know many people who have questioned some of these fly-by-night pages on facebook and our questions go unanswered/deleted, our accounts are banned from the page. This is called Damage Control by those running the page, deleting the negativity. They avoid the spotlight and continue doing what their doing.

We are asking you, if you really are enthusiastic about seeing an awesome looking t-shirt commemorating one of our worst attacks on our home soil, please do your research. Don't open your wallet so quickly. Inquire where the money is going. DO NOT accept a vague reply. Get specifics. The page 'Support Firefighters' has a 9/11 anniversary t-shirt.... but it is a design that is already out there. Go to www.fdnyshop.com and you will find the original design. www.fdnyshop.com is an official page of the FDNY Foundation, a legit foundation that is there helping FDNY firefighters, and the facebook page 'Support Firefighters' took the design and changed minor details and are marketing it on-line.

Facebook will not shut their page down, it is up to us to look into it. Please share this article, spread the word. 

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Engine 329 ATRV - Inside the new vehicle

December 2015, Engine 329 in Rockaway Beach, Queens took delivery of their new 2nd piece, an All Terrain Response Vehicle (ATRV). This 2015 Ford F-550 pick-up truck was fitted with aftermarket compartments and added hose bed. The apparatus does not have pumping capabilities, it is basically a large manifold that will be supplied by an Engine Company.

It has 4-wheel drive capabilities along with a central tire inflation system allowing the operator to inflate/deflate the tires on the move without leaving the cab. It also has a winch that can be operated from front and rear of the vehicle.

Additional equipment:

30 lengths 3" supply hose.

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