NYC Fire Wire

News, Events, Announcements
NOV
10

EMS assaults up 36% as mental health crisis grows

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The city's mental health crisis is taking a physical toll on first responders, who are being attacked on the job more frequently by increasingly volatile patients. Through October of this year, 146 EMTs, paramedics & firefighters were assaulted at work — a 36% higher rate than in 2018, when assaults totaled 129 for the entire year; and 27%...
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13

FDNY Ambulance hit by BB gun

bbgun Spidered windshield in FDNY ambulance hit by BB gun.

An FDNY Ambulance driving by Wavecrest Gardens in Far Rockaway, Battalion 47 area, was hit by BB gun fire that cracked the windshield.

The NYPD believe the perps weren't aiming at the ambulance intentionally. No members were injured & no arrests were made.

This incident happens a week after a brick was thrown at a NYPD marked van in the Bronx. 

 
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JUL
12

Fatal house fire in East Elmhurst declared Arson

fatal 23-49 93 Street in East Elmhurst, Queens.

FDNY Bureau of Fire Investigations announced Thursday that the fatal East Elmhurst fire that claimed the lives of 3 people, including a 6-year-old girl & her great-grandfather, & left 2 other members of their family clinging to life, was a work of an arson after "ignitable liquid was used as an accelerant."

Firefighters were called just after 4pm Wednesday to a fire burning in a two-story home on 93rd Street in East Elmhurst, said FDNY Commissioner Daniel Nigro. Responders were at the scene just minutes later & found two people had escaped the flames. They were rushed to the hospital in extremely critical condition, Nigro said.

3 people were still inside the house as the fire raged. Firefighters battled to put out the inferno & located the 3 inside.

A 6-year-old girl was pronounced dead at the scene, said Nigro. She was visiting from the Dominican Republic with her mother & baby brother, a source familiar with the investigation said.

2 adults later died at the hospital, 1 of whom was the girl's 70-year-old grandfather who lived at the house.

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JUL
03

Retired #FDNY Rescue Medic saves man on edge of Outerbridge

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A good samaritan rushed to save the life of a 19-year-old man who attempted to jump from the Outerbridge Crossing on Tuesday, as shocked New Jersey-bound motorists looked on.

A former Staten Islander from Richmond who now lives in Hazlet, N.J., Gary Smiley noticed the young man -- identified as a Tottenville resident -- get out of his car and start to climb over the railing.

“I yelled out to this kid, ‘what the hell are you doing?’ and told him to get over here,” Smiley said.

As the young man put one leg over the bridge’s railing, Smiley said he went into action. A retried FDNY rescue paramedic, he clutched onto the agitated man and stayed with him until Port Authority police arrived.

“He was very distraught and he thought that he had failed at life and we talked before anyone got there,” Smiley said.

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JUL
01

FDNY 9th Battalion welcomes Army SSG David Bellavia

SSG Members with David Bellavia. Photo via @FDNY twitter

Monday July 1st, the #FDNY 9th Battalion companies; Engine 54, Ladder 4, Engine 23, Engine 40 & Ladder 35 along with Chief of Department Sudnik & Manhattan Boro Commander Chief Ajello welcomed Medal of Honor recipient US Army Staff Sergeant David Bellavia for lunch.

The actions for which Bellavia earned a Silver Star took place on his 29th birthday. As a member of Company A, Task Force 2-2, 1st Infantry Division, his platoon was assigned during Operation Phantom Fury to clear a block of twelve buildings from which insurgents were firing on American forces. The platoon began searching house-to-house. At the tenth house, Bellavia fatally shot an insurgent preparing to load a rocket-propelled grenade. A second insurgent fired at him, and Bellavia wounded him in the shoulder. When Staff Sergeant Bellavia entered a bedroom, the wounded insurgent followed, forcing Bellavia to kill him. When another insurgent began firing from upstairs, Bellavia returned fire and killed him. A fourth insurgent then jumped out of a closet in the bedroom, yelling and firing his weapon as he leaped over a bed trying to reach Bellavia. The insurgent tripped and Bellavia wounded him. Bellavia chased the insurgent when he ran upstairs. He followed the wounded insurgent's bloody footprints to a room on the left and threw in a fragmentation grenade. Upon entering the room, Bellavia discovered it was filled with propane tanks and plastic explosives. He did not fire his weapon for fear of setting off an explosion and instead then engaged in hand-to-hand combat with the insurgent, which led to Bellavia killing the insurgent by stabbing him in the collarbone.

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JUL
01

The 18th annual Blessing of the Fleet

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The #NYPD, #FDNY & #USCG participated in The Blessing of the FDNY Marine Fleet on Monday July 1st. This maritime tradition is meant to ensure safe travels & bountiful season of the FDNY Marine fleet, which encompasses 28 vessels stationed throughout the five boroughs. Full Time Marine companies are 1, 6, 9 & Marine Battalion. Marine 3, 4 & 8 are Summer Boat program from May through October covering the Summer & Hurricane season.

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JUL
01

Man dies after being crushed by safe in Chinatown NYC

Eng55 Engine 55 at Manhattan box 175. 76 Mott Street.

CHINATOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- A man died after a falling safe crushed him in Manhattan.

Police say they found the man on the third floor landing of a building in Chinatown Sunday afternoon, pinned underneath a safe.

Police believe the man was trying to move the safe up several flights of stairs, when it fell on him.

The FDNY says another person went to the hospital.

Police believe it was an accident.

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APR
09

FDNY Firefighter among 4 Marines killed in Afghanistan

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A decorated FDNY firefighter was among four Americans killed by a roadside bomb near the main U.S. base in Afghanistan on Monday, sources told The Post.

Christopher Slutman, a married father of three, worked at Ladder 27 in the Claremont section of the Bronx, the sources said.

Slutman, who was a 15-year veteran of the FDNY, also served as a U.S. Marine, according to sources.

One source remembered him as a devoted father and hard-working FDNY member.

“He was really a great guy,” the source said. “He loved being a fireman, and he was a real family man.”

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NOV
30

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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OCT
09

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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SEP
14

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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SEP
14

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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SEP
12

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.
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SEP
09

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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SEP
08

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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JUL
18

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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JUL
15

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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JUL
14

FDNY Battalion Chief Robert Miuccio dies of 9/11-related cancer

BC Miuccio Chief Miuccio at the WTC site.

Retired FDNY Battalion Chief Robert Miuccio, a Ground Zero hero famed for walking through burning buildings with a cigar in his mouth instead of an air mask, died Thursday of 9/11-related cancer, his family said. He was 76.

"My dad never stopped thinking about the guys in the department," his son, retired firefighter Robert Miuccio Jr., told the Daily News. "When we were at the hospital, he was talking in his sleep. 'Come on boys! We gotta put the fire out.'"

Miuccio, who served with the department for 39 years, died after a two-year battle with lung cancer, officials and family said.

When planes crashed into the Twin Towers, the Staten Island firefighter — whose brother Richard, 55, worked on the 86th floor of 2 World Trade Center — grabbed his gear and boarded a ferry headed downtown.

Miuccio's brother perished in the terror attack. He set aside his grief for the next 3½ months as he led firefighters' efforts to recover the remains of the dead.

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JUN
16

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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JUN
13

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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