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What's really sad is that most New Yorkers won't even know that the Patrol is gone. To the average citizen, those Patrol wagons looked like any other piece of fire apparatus and the only thing different about the patrolmen was their red helmets. Unfortunately, the Patrol operated in anonymity and never attracted the attention it deserved. In recent years, the Underwriters were accused of mismanagement and failing to modernize Patrol operations. Regardless, the patrolmen earned the respect of the firefighters they worked with and their legacy is a proud chapter in the history of the American fire service.
HAL BRUNO, a Firehouse® contributing editor, retired as political director for ABC News in Washington and served almost 40 years as a volunteer firefighter. He is a director of the Chevy Chase, MD, Fire Department and chairman of the National Fallen Firefighters Foundation.