A helmet tip to our "Northern" brethern…

Those of you who know me well know that I am a big FDNY buff. I made several trips up to ride earlier in my career. I usually went around March and planned the trip around St. Patty’s Day. I found a home at 39 / 16 and was honored to march in the parade several times along side those brothers. My last trip up was March 2002, following the September 11, 2001 attacks. I haven’t been back since but often recollect the memories made on those trips and pray a silent prayer for the health and healing of the Brothers of the FDNY.

I bring this up tonight for a few reasons. I missed an important date. Yesterday marked the 6th anniversary of what has now been labeled “Black Sunday” for the FDNY. On January 23, 2005, 6 members of the FDNY were faced with a horifing decision while operating on a fire in the Bronx…. to stay where they were and die or jump from the 4th floor and pray for the best.


Lt. Joe DiBrnardo, FF. Jeff Cool, FF. Eugene Stolowski, and FF. Brendan Cawley all suffered serious, life threatening, debilitating injuries. Saddly, Lt. Curtis Meyran and Lt. John Bellew, jumped to their deaths that day.

I missed the date but  Jason Hoevelmann from   A Firefighters Own Worst Enemy did not. Jason posted a great video of FF. Cool speaking of the events of that day. The video includes footage and audio from that day. You can hear the “MAYDAYS” being called.  Heres the video …..

The “Black Sunday” fire resulted in extensive research,  studies, testing and ultimately the procurment of  Personal Escape Systems (bags) for FDNY members. Maybe a small positive out of such a great tragedy. If you’re off duty and able .. RAISE A GLASS in memory of Lieutenants Meyran and Bellew and in hopes that we never see another Black Sunday.

Like I said … I’m a huge FDNY “buff”. We all want to play on the “winning” team and the FDNY is arguably the best fire department in the United States. I haven’t called a lot of attention to the right side bar, here on the site;  that contains my “favorites” or “links”. One of those links is to Michael Dick’s photography site  FDNY’s Bravest

The site hosts some AWESOME shots that encapsulate and define the name of this site .. Wooden Ladders and Iron Firemen. Here are a few of his pics (shown with his written permission)


Photo by M. Dick FDNYSBRAVEST.com

Photo by M. Dick FDNYSBRAVEST.com

Here in the “Noke”, we have our own taste of the FDNY .. or at least that “Northern flair”. We hold several members who “migrated” south to find a home here in the Va. mountains. One of my favorites is Firefighter Adam Fleming … aka “Snowbird”.

I met Adam back when I made Lieutenant. We were assigned together at Station #6 and went through several doors together. Adam is a good fireman and friend. I could tell a hundred stories of our escapades on off days but had better save them for another time….the Statute of Limitations may not have run out on some of em …LOL

Anyways, Snowbird has always been handy with tools etc and can build or rebuild ANYTHING. He always has a “fixer up” project going and his latest is UNBELIEVABLE. He’s building a bar out of a fire truck…. yea .. a BAR out of a real FIRE TRUCK and it’s going inside his house. AWESOME!

He wanted me to wait until the project is complete but I convinced him into allowing me to do a post now and then follow up when we pour our 1st beverage.

He bought the truck, a 1988 Pierce Arrow from salvage. It came from the Orange, NJ Fire Department. Here’s what she looked like..

He got her right and decided to cut off the front for use on the bar. He was also able to salvage several pieces from the rig to accent the bar and it’s trim. Cut the front off you ask? Yea … with a battery operated Saws All …

He took what he needed and parted the remainder out. He moved his work inside, began the cleaning process and progressed to fabrication and mock-up ….

Following the mock-up, the bar was dis-assembled for paint and hardware. When complete, she’ll boast a diamond plate top with a smooth, clear epoxy. The cabinet drawers have the handles from the Engine’s compartments and pump panel. The light bar will be mounted above. The sink will be a 2 1/2 discharge,  the door opens for access behind the bar … so much cool stuff I can’t begin to list it all …. Heres the final paint …

If you’re from Orange FD …. sit down. This is what your rig looked like after Snowbird robbed her of all he needed …

I also found a video that I believe may show the truck in action. Apparently, there is an East, West and who knows how many more “Orange” New Jerseys…

I can’t wait for the first drink and update post on the bar … GREAT JOB Snowbird!  I was able to talk to Adam about the bar today because we were at his station for TOG inspection (he’s assigned to Station #1-C aka The Big Show). While we were there, he and Lt. Decker mounted a new Thermal Imaging Camera in our rig…. well, new to us anyway. Heres a shot of Snowbird at work and the finished product …

I think that now, or within the next few days; every front line rig in the city will have a TIC. They are a great “tool” when used correctly and I’m glad to fianally get one.

I figured since we had TOG inspections, I may as well try to clean my borks up a bit ….I though I was going blind .. turns out all I needed to do was a little cleaning / waxing …

Its been another steady day here at Lucky 13 as far as work goes. the highlight of the day was a visit from the Buckaroo … Wave “Bye” to our readers Buckaroo …

Bye for now anyways….. I’ll be back a little later. Hopefully after I receive 100 vote in the Black Diamond 2010 Fire Blog of the Year Contest … then we can get some covering off those pictures …LOL.

Dont forget to VOTE …. click   HERE to cast your ballot and don’t forget to tell all your friends. You can vote every 6 hours …

Until next time…stay safe and in House.

Captain Wines