IN THE PAST FEW MONTHS, several firefighters from the "war years" of the 1970s in the FDNY whom I knew personally passed away during their retirement. Many got the chance to live for at least 15 years in retirement, and some for many more years, after enduring severe punishment every day during their careers. At one recent wake, I met a firefighter's son who is now the senior man in his own fire company. His father was retired for 14 years. Several photos that I took of the father while he was on the department that show him smiling after tough fires were on display in the funeral home. I hadn't seen the photos for nearly 35 years. They brought back many memories.
When veteran firefighters pass away, all of their knowledge, memories and experience go with them. It was said when the World Trade Center towers collapsed on 9/11, killing 343 FDNY firefighters, 4,400 years of combined experience was lost on a single day. For those who remain on the job, now is the time to pass on your experience and knowledge to the newest members. You have to start somewhere. By being proactive and sharing your knowledge and experience, the people you teach today may just be there to help you out tomorrow. You never know.
WE ARE PROUD TO PRESENT part two of the National Run Survey. In this issue we present the total calls for each department and the totals for busiest engine and busiest ladder companies. These totals, many of which include EMS, seem to skyrocket each year. Be sure to check out these statistics and see how your department compares. Some departments' individual company run totals continue to climb. Many would like to remember how low the run totals were before the addition of EMS. It's only a memory now.
IN ORDER FOR ALL THOSE DEPARTMENTS to dispatch units to millions of alarms each year, there must first be apparatus and firehouses. In this month's installment of The Apparatus Architect, we present information on how to purchase and justify new apparatus in these tough economic times. Our roundtable discussion on fire station design deals with green concerns, budget issues and financial constraints.
In his Fire Law column, Steve Blackistone takes a look at the Chicago Fire Department and the recent rulings affecting hiring. Steve will be updating you on several other recent court rulings involving other departments in upcoming issues.
THANKFULLY WE HAVE HAD ONLY 34 firefighter line-of-duty deaths at press time; at this time last year, we had lost 50 of our own. Changes for the better are in order for the upcoming 2010 National Fallen Firefighters Memorial Weekend at the National Fire Academy (NFA). Among the highlights, the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation (NFFF) is looking to expand its presence from coast to coast, specifically in the Midwest and West. Executive Director Ron Siarnicki reported that those regions regard the NFFF as an East Coast organization and is looking for help in spreading the word. For the first time this year, the names of military firefighters will be added to the National Fallen Firefighters Memorial in Emmitsburg, MD. This year's National Memorial Service honor guard will include members of the armed forces. The NFFF is looking to expand the number of media that provide live feeds for the various events on the Memorial Weekend in October; Firehouse.com has been providing that feed since its inception several years ago. The NFFF will provide media with the 2009 roll call ad, titled "We Will Honor Them." The ad will feature a new LODD each day and will run through the memorial weekend in October. The memorial banner that is signed with notes of encouragement at the NFA campus will now have an online submission form to allow those not in attendance to leave a message.
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