Scuttlebutt 11/12

Proud to Wear Pink

The Deltona, FL, Fire Department joined fire departments throughout the country in the “Proud to Wear Pink” campaign to show support and bring awareness to breast cancer. Deltona firefighters wore pink uniform t-shirts while on duty for the entire month of October, marking the third year of their participation in the program.

I think it is a great effort between the city and the Deltona firefighters to partner in showing we care about breast cancer awareness,” said Deltona Chief Robert Staples. “The image of firefighters wearing bright pink t-shirts certainly draws attention to the issue.”

The Deltona firefighters pink t-shirts are available by contacting the Deltona Firefighters Foundation at For additional information regarding breast cancer, please visit, or


50 years and counting

The FDNY Emerald Society Pipes and Drums celebrated their 50th Anniversary on Saturday, September 15, at Citi Field in Queens, NY, home of the New York Mets.  Current, former and founding members of the band were in attendance. The FDNY Emerald Society Pipes and Drums perform at every FDNY funeral and plaque dedication; leads the FDNY in the St. Patrick’s Day Parade; and performs at hundreds of additional FDNY events every year. 

For more information on the FDNY Pipes and Drums, please visit


World’s Toughest Firefighter?

One of the marquee events at the recent World Firefighter Games was the competition to see who would be crowned World’s Toughest Firefighter. One of the favorites to grab the title was Games Ambassador and Hottest Firefighters Calendar cover star Vladimir “Big Wal” Milberg. The Sydney Airport aviation firefighter and Games ambassador had been spotted at Sydney’s Taronga Zoo leading up to the event receiving swimming and strength tips from some of the Zoo’s famous animals.

The World Firefighters Games celebrates the camaraderie, heroism, health, fitness and spirit of the men and women who work in one of the world’s most respected professions. For full coverage of the event, go to


Volunteers Celebrate 275 Years of Service

In honor of the 275th anniversary of America’s volunteer fire service, the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) has released a new publication honoring the past, present and future of our nation’s volunteers. A Proud Tradition: 275 Years of the American Volunteer Fire Service pays tribute to the millions of dedicated individuals who protect our communities every day and honors the rich heritage of volunteers.

A Proud Tradition looks at the evolution of America’s volunteer fire service, from its earliest beginnings, to changes in equipment and apparatus, to current issues facing today’s volunteers such as expanding scope and recruitment and retention. Sections also cover training, women in the fire service and community involvement. The publication not only looks at where the fire service came from, but also where it stands today and where it is headed in the future.

Visit the NVFC website ( for information on how to order the book or to download the electronic version.


FPVFD Donates Pumper to Haiti

As all Firefighters know, equipment becomes obsolete due to age, ware, or constantly renewing NFPA requirements.  That dilemma became reality for members of the Florham Park Volunteer Fire Department (FPVFD), when their 1981 Mack/Engine 22 entered it’s own phase of obsolescence.  FPVFD members had witnessed the loss of an earlier engine’s demise in a scrap yards, and vowed to never let that happen again, especially with their retired Engine 22.

Members organized a committee, to seek out options for a new life for Engine 22.  This search led them to Captain Nathaniel Lasseur, Founder / President of the International Firefighters Assistance (IFA) organization, in Coral Springs, FL.

Captain Lasseur is a professional firefighter in Miami, and a native son of Haiti, where he has been active in the development of local firefighting companies throughout the island nation of Haiti.  The IFA organization he established, seeks donations of retired fire apparatus and necessary equipment for partners in Haiti and throughout the world.

The Florham Park Borough Mayor and Council members, who are responsible for the ownership of the apparatus, accepted the volunteers proposal to donate Engine 22 to the IFA, and plans were completed to transport the vehicle to the Port of Miami, where it was loaded on a ship bound for Haiti.

As the fire truck arrived in Haiti, Captain Lasseur’s partners, in Croix-des-Bouquets province, requested assistance to train their newly organized fire company in the technical aspects of the trucks operation.  Engine 22 is the first, and only, piece of firefighting apparatus in this Haitian province, where heretofore they fought fires only with water buckets, axes, brooms and blankets.  Members of the FPVFD Association agreed to donate a portion of their annual fund drive proceeds to support the expenses of a mission for two officers, Assistant Chief Chuck Keel and Fire Inspector Alban Kellogg, to visit their new friends and owners of Engine 22 in Haiti in late August.

Many Haitian Government Officials and community leaders of Croix-des-Bouquet province expressed their overwhelming appreciation for the generosity of the Community of Florham Park, and the members of the FPVFD Association for their kind donation of this essential firefighting equipment in their earthquake ravaged country.

The  FPVFD invites any other fire departments who may have obsolete equipment to join with them in supporting the IFA with additional donations of apparatus and equipment.  If you are able to participate in this effort, please contact Assistant Chief Chuck Keel at 973-377-3241 or contact the IFA at


This Month in Fire History


November 1, 1970, Grenoble, France

Dance hall fire kills 145


November 6, 1896, Boston, MA

National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is founded


November 9, 1872, Boston, MA

Great Boston Fire causes $73.5 million in damages


November 15, 1973, Los Angeles, CA

Stratford Apartments home hotel fire kills 25


November 21, 1980, Las Vegas, NV

MGM Grand Hotel fire kills 85


November 28, 1942

Cocoanut Grove nightclub fire kills 492


Courtesy of NFPA


For details on fires that occurred100 years ago this month, turn to Paul Hashagen’s “Rekindles” on page XX.