New York News

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Loch Sheldrake firefighter dies after responding to call

A Loch Sheldrake firefighter died several hours after responding to a call Tuesday afternoon. Sullivan County Fire Coordinator John Hauschild said the firefighter – who he could not identify publicly because notifications of next of kin were still taking place – was among those who responded to a motor vehicle accident around 2 p.m. on Tuesday. The firefighter returned from the call and was found unresponsive several hours later, Hauschild said. Efforts to revive the firefighter were unsuccessful, Hauschild said. Further details were not immediately available.
Middletown Times Herald-Record

Resident: Watertown should fight firefighters’s union

City resident Donald S. Rickett on Monday night urged City Council members to stick to their guns in the city’s three-year contract dispute with the firefighters’s union. The 82-year-old Weldon Drive resident told council members that he’s a member of “the silent majority” who sides with the city. “Fight on,” he said during Monday’s council meeting. He believes the fire department operates on a lot of waste, insisting the city should pursue making cuts. On Monday, Councilman Stephen A. Jennings made public one of the offers that the Watertown Professional Fire Fighters Association Local 191 had proposed to the city. Union president Daniel Daugherty confirmed that the union proposed retroactive pay of a 4 percent increase in 2014 and 3.75 percent increases in both 2015 and 2016.
Watertown Daily TImes

Former FDNY EMT dies after battle with cancer

A former FDNY EMT who responded to the 9/11 attacks died after a long battle with cancer. Northwell Health Center for Emergency Medical Services medical director and former FDNY EMT Dr. Michael Guttenberg died Tuesday from pancreatic cancer he developed after working on the post-9/11 wreckage of the World Trade Center. After being diagnosed, Guttenberg served as a responder for more than four years, despite the statistic that more than 74 percent of pancreatic cancer patients die within a year. Guttenberg will be honored in the upcoming year by the FDNY and City of New York, and his name will be added the National September 11 Memorial.

Beloved Former Cutchogue Fire Department Chief Honored With Memorial Walk/Run

The many mourning former Cutchogue Fire Department Chief Drew McCaffery, who died at 41, will come together to honor his memory and raise funds to help those also battling cancer. The Drew McCaffery Walk/Run will be held on Nov. 11, a point to point race beginning at the corner of Route 48 and Bridge Lane in Cutchogue, heading west on Route 48 to Cox Lane, down around the Matthews Lane cul de sac, which passes by Drew's house and the church where he was married, up to Oregon Road, then along the length of Depot Lane to Schoolhouse Road, and finishing at the Cutchogue Firehouse track, his brother Michael said. The 7K distance is "in honor of Drew's being the 437 member of CFD, where he was a past chief, past captain and current member of the Board of Fire Commissioners," he said.
North Fork

51 years ago: When 12 members of the FDNY died

More than half a century ago, 12 firefighters were killed in what was the deadliest day in the New York City Fire Department ‘s history until the terror attacks on 9/11. The fire started at 22nd Street and Broadway in the cellar of an art store on Oct. 17, 1966. It spread to Wonder Drug, all the way at 23rd Street. Firefighters worked for 16 hours to get the blaze under control. Two chiefs, two lieutenants and eight firefighters were trapped after the floor caved in at the drugstore. Deputy Chief Thomas Reilly, Battalion Chief Walter Higgins, Lt. John Finley, Lt. Joseph Priore and firefighters Rudy Kaminsky, Bernard Tepper, John Berry, Carl Le, William McCarron, James Galanaugh, Joseph Kelly and Daniel Rey died when Wonder Drug collapsed.

Becoming firefighter is dream come true for 24-year-old man pictured marching at 1994 FDNY memorial

Tyler Hickey had just learned to walk when he began following in his firefighter father’s footsteps. At just 15 months old, Hickey was pictured in the Daily News following a procession of firefighters attending a memorial service at Riverside Park in October 1994. On Wednesday, he will once again be marching in an FDNY procession — this time as a new probationary firefighter. “I have wanted to be a firefighter forever,” 24-year-old Hickey said Tuesday. “As a kid, the toys I had were fire trucks and fire boats. Everything I have done has led up to this.” Hickey said he doesn’t actually remember the moment the adorable photo — which still hangs in his mother’s home — was taken, but he’s heard the story many, many times.
New York Daily News

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

FDNY chief pays tribute to military ‘big brothers’ at War on Terrorism memorial

Before dawn Monday morning, the chief of the Fire Department of New York City was walking alone through a new memorial on the edge of Fort Benning. It was an odd place for the top firefighter in the nation's largest city to start his work week, but James Leonard said there was no other place he would rather be. The new memorial to the Global War on Terrorism was dedicated late Monday morning at the National Infantry Museum. At the forefront of the memorial with the names of 6,915 U.S. service members who have died since the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the World Trade Center, is a portion of a beam from the north tower. At 6 a.m., five hours before the memorial was dedicated, Leonard went into the site by himself, saying he wanted to be along with his thoughts as he digested it.
Columbus Ledger-Enquirer

New documentary ‘My Father’s House’ depicts the lasting impact of blaze that killed 12 FDNY heroes 50 years ago

A poignant documentary from the FDNY about the E. 23rd St. fire that killed 12 Bravest will be screened this week – marking the 51st anniversary of the fatal blaze. “My Father’s House” details the tragic fate of the two chiefs, two lieutenants and eight firefighters who died in the line of duty on Oct. 17, 1966. But the film pays special attention to Lt. Joseph Priore, who left behind a 6-month-old daughter. Christine Priore, now 51, didn’t know much about her father’s story until a few years ago, when she decided to pay her respects at the commemorative plaque on 23rd St. There, she was surprised to find members of the FDNY doing the same thing. “I didn’t know the Fire Department honored him every year,” Priore said.
New York Daily News

Assemblyman Skoufis: Give volunteer firefighters cancer disability benefits

Firefighters put their lives on the line every day when they go out for a call. Anything can happen. Even when they walk away from an incident, the consequences can be dire and long-lasting. In addition to giving their time and energy and putting their lives at risk, volunteer firefighters keep taxes down. According to a recent report, volunteer firefighters save New York State municipalities over $3 billion annually. Locally, the use of volunteers in fire departments in Orange and Rockland counties saved taxpayers over $141 million and over $55 million, respectively. Given all they do for us, we need to make sure these men and women are covered in case they get sick.
NY Journal News (

Hero 9/11 EMT denied disability pension because of his weight

The city’s largest pension board is refusing to grant a disability pension to a 291-pound worker who developed asthma after the cleanup effort at Ground Zero, saying his weight was the chief cause of his illness. Emergency Medical Technician Michael Abramowitz — who transported body parts of victims to the morgue after 9/11 — was forced to retire in 2010 when FDNY doctors determined his asthma and psoriasis made him medically unfit for the job. He was 56 at the time. So like many others who worked at Ground Zero, Abramowitz applied for a disability pension. A doctor certified that his asthma is “related to 9/11-related dust exposure.” But the medical board of the New York City Employees’ Retirement System saw things differently and blamed his girth — not exposure to toxins — for his health problem, according to records obtained by The Post.
New York Post

New Hempstead school’s hydrant fails test

A makeshift fire hydrant that would serve a private school failed a test when it couldn't handle the water pressure and popped out of the ground, officials said Monday. Ateres Bais Yaakov Academy of Rockland has come under scrutiny for lacking its own water connection to the water company, and an electrical hookup to Orange and Rockland Utilities, for 17 trailer classrooms at 200 Summit Park Road. "The school is not hooked into the power grid," Rockland County Executive Ed Day said at a news conference Monday at the Hillcrest fire station. "The electrical hookup with extension cords to the house is shoddy. They don't have independent water. There are reasons for these rules: life and safety. The children and parents are the victims here."
NY Journal News (

Long Island Firefighter Gives Unconscious Pup CPR, Saves Its Life

A firefighter saved a Long Island dog’s life Monday night by giving the unconscious pup CPR. Footage from the scene in East Meadow shows a firefighter hunched over on the ground resuscitating the animal after a blaze at a firefighter’s house at about 6:30 p.m. Authorities said the dog, an Airedale terrier, came to and has survived, but another dog died in the blaze. No people were injured in the fire, and the home’s owner wasn’t home when it broke out. The cause of the fire is under investigation.

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