My younger Buff years

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Jun 27, 2017
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I worked from 1976, to my promotion to Lieutenant in 1984, in Manhattans 4th Battalion, on the Lower East Side, also known as. "Alphabet City"
The Avenues were Named, Ave. A/ Ave. B etc. My 1st unit in the 4th Battalion was Ladder 11, on E. 2nd St. near Ave. B. quartered with, then one of the Busiest Engine Companies in the FDNY Engine 28. In 1976 Ladder 11 had I believe 7,600 Runs and a lot of 10-75s = Working fires. And a lot of Multiple alarms. After a years' time in L-11 I was transferred to Tower Ladder 18 quartered on Pitt. St. along with Engine 17 and the 4th Battalion. In 1977 TL-18. In 1977 TL-18 did 6,700 Runs and was in the top 10 in the FDNY in Structural Workers. We had a joke in TL-18, we used the Tower Ladder bucket so much that we started wearing plastic Gold colored "Junior Pilot's Wings" someone had gotten from United Airline on their last trip to Disney World in Florida. You know firefighters anything for laugh. I then was promoted to Lieutenant and was assigned to covering spot in Battalion 26, in the still, very busy South Bronx. But that's a story for another time. Captain Bob Rainey FDNY Engine 26 retired.
My first encounter with the FDNY War Years was with Engine 28 and Ladder 11 in 1967. My brother-in-law lived on the fourth floor of an OLT on East 1st Street a couple of doors off Houston Street. 28/11 seemed to be going past more often than the cross-town bus. One evening I walked over to visit (11's had a tiller then). While briefly there they had four runs; all within a block or two; all false. I seem to remember them returning to quarters ringing the rig bell. The probie's duty?
 
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Years ago Units returning to Qtrs would Respond back lights & sirens.... this was still done when I got OTJ in 1968 & for several years after continued with most Old School Officers & Chauffers.....the wording in The
Regs was "returning to an unmanned FH"....later after The Job more or less ordered the practice stopped the Apparatus Bell would be tolled intermittently as a gentle reminder just to keep civilians from wandering in the path of the returning
Rig.....this of course stopped when bells were no longer around.
 
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Jun 22, 2007
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I have heard from Lt Hamiltons daughter. She says his health has been a struggle, but he's sharp as a tack. He is now 86 years old and his two sons are 57 and 45. She reports her father never talked about the job because he didn't want the family to worry. She is really quite surprised to hear that her father made such an impact. It has been this web site and one other that allowed my brother and I to contact the family and friends of Lt Richard Hamilton, a Role Model we still look up to 40 or more years later.

Chenz62. Your father was a Hero and no doubt one of the Greatest Firefighters to ever live. He fought fires during the busiest of times for the FDNY. I am so sad to hear that he passed away at such an early age. He was part of the "Greatest Generation of Firefighters" to ever live. I might have met him when I rode with Rescue 2 around 1968. I reading the story in WNYF Magazine.

I believe that your father made that Great rescue of firefighters along with Lt Richard Hamilton then. Recently, I was able to get in touch with Lt Hamilton, who is now 86 years old. He lives in Califorina and wasn't in the best of health, but according to his daughter, "he's as sharp as a tack". Your father and him made that Great rescue together. I'm sure he'd love to hear from you. Also there area few other Great stories written about your father too that you might want to check out.

I will do my best to pass this onto Lt Hamilton and his daughter. I'll send you an E-mail with more info.

Regarding the late Lt Richard Hamilton, for a period of time his daughter would let me know how he was doing health wise after she had learned of this thread.
She would tell me how despite his sickness, he still didn't loose his personality making the nurses laugh in the hospital.
As I remember, they were living in California at the time.
This reply is located on page 20, reply # 383 - November 13, 2009

The reply I quoted from "Chanz62" is located on page 25, reply # 492 - February 16, 2010

THANK YOU LT HAMILTON and Continued Rest in Peace
You served your purpose well
One of the Most Decorated Firefighters in the FDNY
 
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Jun 27, 2017
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Years ago Units returning to Qtrs would Respond back lights & sirens.... this was still done when I got OTJ in 1968 & for several years after continued with most Old School Officers & Chauffers.....the wording in The
Regs was "returning to an unmanned FH"....later after The Job more or less ordered the practice stopped the Apparatus Bell would be tolled intermittently as a gentle reminder just to keep civilians from wandering in the path of the returning
Rig.....this of course stopped when bells were no longer around.
Thanks Chief. That procedure, of course, was necessary until the advent of rig radios. This was also the justification for second sections in the high value district. You weren't officially in service until the officer signaled 4-4-4 on the house Morse key and received 2-3 in return.

The Pittsburgh first-due engine company (14) at my college dorm in 1965 didn't have its' radio yet. All the officers carried dimes in their turn-out coats' pockets as a last resort.
 
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May 6, 2010
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In the FDNY Rig Radios came about in the 1950s & Units could be In Service via radio after Taking Up from a Box however part of the Responding back to Qtrs eliminated time wasted sitting in traffic & allowed for more time at Qtrs for food...drill...etc. ....of course even though lights & sirens were used the Rig's speed was much reduced from that of going to a Box.
 
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Jul 20, 2022
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Brothers & Sisters LEARN from every fire, always learn from others and Say Safe. Captain Bob Rainey FDNY Engine 26 retired
 
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Jun 22, 2007
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5,652
This web site is fortunate enough to have many of the FDNY War Years Firefighters among us.
It was a very special breed of New York City Firefighters that responded to a record number of calls and fought a staggering number of fires.

Of course anybody who was a buff during that time, will never forget the amount of fires that occurred day after day and night after night.

So here is a song, with video that pays Tribute to those FDNY War Years and Glory Days Firefighters.

Okay Guys, if you were a part of it, "this one's for you".

www.youtube.com/watch?v=haDnCq9x5e4
 
Joined
Feb 3, 2008
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2001 before 9/11 I buffed at Engine 293 in Queens. I was there every week in the summer. Got to ride to a bunch of runs. The most memorable was a brush fire in Forest Park. The men went deep into the woods, I stayed back with the chauffeur. They needed the deck gun, so the chauffeur had me go on top and work the deck gun while the guys radioed to him via the handy tally which way to move the gun. I got to help put out a fire that day and nothing else could have been more exciting. The chauffeur Jimmy passed a way not that long ago. Made one hell of a children sandwich. Rest in peace.
 
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