My younger Buff years

mack

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johnd248 said:
In Uncle Wilfred's "younger buff years", his buffmobile was horse drawn.  What does that tell you?

Tough Willy's buffmobile:

Buff-Mobile.jpg
 
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Frank:

I think we're gonna have to initiate Joe as a formal member of ROWR . . . the Rag On Wilmern Rangers.  ;D ;) ;D ::) 8)
 
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mack said:
johnd248 said:
In Uncle Wilfred's "younger buff years", his buffmobile was horse drawn.  What does that tell you?

Tough Willy's buffmobile:

Buff-Mobile.jpg
He still has this buffmobile. Takes it out cruising in Norwich and Bridgeport in the good weather.
 
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raybrag said:
Frank:

I think we're gonna have to initiate Joe as a formal member of ROWR . . . the Rag On Wilmern Rangers.  ;D ;) ;D ::) 8)
Definitely Ray. Joe has been a closet ROWR for a long time. It's time he came out!
 
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For those members who would like to hear some stories of those very busy War Years and the somewhat calmer but still crazy years of fire activity, as told by those who were a part of it, you might want to check out the videos of "Gettin' Salty".

It is a form of "talk show" of how things were. There's been many shows so far and last night (May 28, 2020) there was a live streaming discussion from the man known as "The Voice of Brooklyn", Retired FDNY Dispatcher # 120, Warren Fuchs. Of course some of us here know Warren and we know that he loved doing the job he did. For Warren, "the busier the better". And that's surely the way it was.

For me personally, it brought me back to My Younger Buff Years. It was some 52 years ago when I got my first introduction into the FDNY in 1968 as a buff. As I told here I was first invited down to that Rescue 2/Engine Co 210 firehouse on Carlton Ave by a guy named Tony Tadunio (spelling ?). That firefighter would change my life and I learned from Warrens conversation that Tony was a great firehouse cook as he mentioned his name.

Another name mentioned in that program was Retired FDNY Jack Kleehaas, aka here as "68jk09". A frequent contributor here who often shares his knowledge of the history of the FDNY. The members doing the show along with Warren all spoke of Jack as an FDNY Legend.

During the show Warren talked of a very good friendship with another great retired FDNY dispatcher by the name of George Munch (spelling - ?). George was FDNY # 247 and he would frequently be heard on Brooklyn Fire Radio of 154.37 MHz. He was a regular on those "Oh So Busy Fourth of Julys". When things were totally out of control. George and Warren were not only a GREAT TEAM Together, but they were also Buff Buddies as well. They knew every street in Brooklyn and even the number breaks long before the days of computers. I told a story here of my first visit to the Brooklyn C.O. and for one hour, they were so busy, nobody had time to show me the operation. The supervisor finely came to me and said: "I'm sorry we didn't get the chance to show you around, but we're just kind of busy right now". I sure understood that and as I left, I just could NOT understand how anybody could work there without getting a pounding headache. Because when I left, my head was pounding after only about one hour there. The box alarms were pounding in from the various circuits, the phone calls as a few dispatchers asked "Where's the fire". Guys yelling across the room to send this company and redirect this company instead.
Those guys sure earned their pay and I sure am glad that guys like Warren and his buff buddy/dispatcher George Munch are enjoying their well deserved retirement.

Warren talked about how on 9/11 he was heading into the World Trade Center. His plan was then to meet up with the late Chief Ray Downy who was in charge of the special operations units. His command post was in the lobby of one of the Towers that collapsed taking Ray Downy's life. Warren said how he hadn't reached that site yet and as a result, he was spared. Warren also said how he had lost some 60 personnel friends of his that day.

As we see in "Another War Years Firefighter Passes", we are loosing those FDNY War Years Firefighters every day now. I have always considered them "The Greatest Generation of Firefighter" because seeing what those guys did - "they really were The GREATEST". I have been blessed to become personnel friends with many of them. I think that all started with these stories. I hope that you will tune into that "Gettin' Salty Experience". I believe you can view their videos by going to:

Youtube - "Gettin Salty Experience Podcast Ep 13".
 
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^^^^^^^ Warren's podcast....... after opening click on YOU TUBE bar lower right to open side bar for more episodes
 
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Just a quick word on the Gettin Salty podcasts, I've found myself engrossed in these watching from 'across the pond'.

I think these guys have nailed it, its a great mixture of humour and insight with a whole host of stories from back in the day.

They dedicated an episode to the Waldbaums fire back in 1978 which I've read about on here and other sources, but it was interesting to hear those guys explain about truss roofs, building construction as well as firefighting operations.

I'm sure you guys have tuned in, but if you haven't I highly recommend you do.
 
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Just a quick word on the Gettin Salty podcasts, I've found myself engrossed in these watching from 'across the pond'.

I think these guys have nailed it, its a great mixture of humour and insight with a whole host of stories from back in the day.

They dedicated an episode to the Waldbaums fire back in 1978 which I've read about on here and other sources, but it was interesting to hear those guys explain about truss roofs, building construction as well as firefighting operations.

I'm sure you guys have tuned in, but if you haven't I highly recommend you do.
I totally agree! I look forward to the monday night and Thursday night podcast. You can tune in on Youtube and follow on Facebook or instagram.
 

mack

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I found pictures of Willy D's dad - George F. Dennis. He was a World War II U.S. Army veteran and served honorably with the 106th Infantry as a combat medic. He was also a retired captain with the Bridgeport Fire Department during Bridgeport's "War Years". Captain George Dennis earned a gold star citation from Bridgeport Board of Fire Commissioners for "bravery beyond the call of duty". Both Captain Bill Dennis ("Willy D"), Norwich Fire Department, and brother BC George Dennis, Bridgeport Fire Department, continued the Dennis family tradition of service to others and are admired like their father by FFs they served with and their many friends. God bless Captain George F. Dennis.
 

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mack

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^^^^^^^ Warren's podcast....... after opening click on YOU TUBE bar lower right to open side bar for more episodes

Warren - Dispatcher 120 - a terrific dispatcher, photographer, historian and friend
 

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I found pictures of Willy D's dad - George F. Dennis. He was a World War II U.S. Army veteran and served honorably with the 106th Infantry as a combat medic. He was also a retired captain with the Bridgeport Fire Department during Bridgeport's "War Years". Captain George Dennis earned a gold star citation from Bridgeport Board of Fire Commissioners for "bravery beyond the call of duty". Both Captain Bill Dennis ("Willy D"), Norwich Fire Department, and brother BC George Dennis, Bridgeport Fire Department, continued the Dennis family tradition of service to others and are admired like their father by FFs they served with and their many friends. God bless Captain George F. Dennis.


Thank you Joe, aka mack, for that story of my father.

As you can probably guess, "I'm very proud of my father for what he has done". I'm sure I am NOT alone as a guy saying he is proud of his father.

For me he was my Role Model. He was a member of who we consider these days as "The Greatest Generation".

I wrote a little story about my father on here a long time ago. The title was "Role Model"

 
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Thanks Mack and Bill. I love a legacy story and Bill, you and George are part of that proud tradition. Proud to call you friend!
 
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In My Younger Buff Years, I would always like to make a stop over at the Fire Academy, simply know as "The Rock".

There I would watch the new proby's begin to learn their new skills and it was a great place to get apparatus photos as various companies would come in for training etc. Of course companies were coming in for training as well and that's also where I got to meet "Mr Johnny Gage", aka Dan Potter, the LCC of Ladder Co 5 at that time.

I was also allowed to buy my own set of FDNY Training manuals and updates.

I remember when ALL Units Circular # 138 came out. It was an entire booklet in itself on dealing with civil unrest and major events within the city. In that manual was mentioned a new term called: "Fire Control Teams" as well as "Command Post" set up at various firehouses throughout the city.

It told how each FCT would respond as a group together with a Battalion Chief first, then an Engine, followed by a Ladder Co, then a second Engine, then a Police Car.

I bring this up because in "Glory Days", page 22 beginning with reply # 434, 435, 436, etc., that topic is discussed.

I would also like to mention that this site member "mack", Joe Materia's father was a Battalion Chief at the time and he played a HUGE Part in writing that AUC. He was the leading role in writing that entire operation known as AUC 138.
 
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I would also like to mention that this site member "mack", Joe Materia's father was a Battalion Chief at the time and he played a HUGE Part in writing that AUC. He was the leading role in writing that entire operation known as AUC 138.

Sometimes, "mack", Joe Materia and myself will talk about those extremely very busy FDNY War Years. Of course it's not only Joe, but pretty much any of us who were able to either be on the job then or be a buff.

Of course Joe's father was on the job then. He rose to the rank of Battalion Chief during the busiest time of fire activity ever. It was NOT at all uncommon to have numerous fires going on within the city at the same time. Also what we might consider today as a 2nd or 3rd alarm was maybe an all hands fire or as they called it a 10-30. Using only two and two while keeping the third due engine available for other fire duty.

As I understand it, Batt Chief Materia is operating at a good all hands fire. Of course there are other fires going on throughout the boro. There are few, if any, companies available in the entire city.

While Chief Materia and the companies are operating at that fire, right across the street another fire breaks out in another building. There are no companies available as he calls that second fire into the Brooklyn C.O.

So Chief Materia advises the C.O. that "he" will also handle the job across the street but he ask for One Engine and One Truck (1 + 1) to respond as soon as available.
As the original fire is being brought under control, some of the members who just operated go across the street to fight the second fire.
Then Chief Materia tells his aide to monitor the original fire and report to him regarding that job.

That's just one example of how things were in those busy FDNY War Years.

"mack" was on the scene as he had been riding with his father.

After Joe told me that story, I had mentioned to him that I would tell it on here. So Joe, "mack", if I got any part of the story wrong, please make any necessary corrections.

I might also add that two fires going on the same street, at the same time, was NOT really that uncommon. I saw a few myself. Plus seeing smoke rising in other neighborhoods from jobs throughout the city.

Using a scanner it was IMPOSSIBLE to follow the activity of the entire city. At times while buffing just the Bronx and Harlem, it wasn't possible to monitor both the Bronx and Manhattan at the same time. That's were two guys with two separate scanners came in handy. One for One Boro and the other for the Other Boro.
 
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