Scuttlebutt 9/14

N.Y. Firefighter Wins Harley at 2014 Firehouse Expo

Frank Hrbek Jr., a firefighter and former captain with the Elmont, NY, Fire Department, walked into Firehouse Expo on Saturday morning as a Harley-Davidson owner wannabe and left that afternoon the proud owner of a sleek black machine, as the winner of the 2014 Harley giveaway.

“I am totally shocked,” Hrbek said, just minutes after having his name drawn from the raffle basket. “I still can’t believe it’s true. I asked a couple of times if there was a catch or something.”

There was no catch. Hrbek won the grand prize of a promotion sponsored by Unication, the makers of a new voice paging device that is the fire service’s first submersible voice pager.

Hrbek said he has a buddy who has been after him for years to get a Harley and go riding with him. “Now I can do it,” he said, “as soon as I get my license!”


PBS to Air The Big Burn

Inspired by Timothy Egan’s best-selling book, The Big Burn is the dramatic story of the massive wildfire that swept across the Northern Rockies in the summer of 1910. The fire devoured more than three million acres in 36 hours, confronting the fledgling U.S. Forest Service with a catastrophe that would define the agency and the nation’s fire policy for much of the 20th century. As America tries to manage its fire-prone landscapes in the 21st century, The Big Burn provides a cautionary tale of heroism and sacrifice, arrogance and greed, hubris and, ultimately, humility, in the face of nature’s frightening power.

Written and directed by Stephen Ives, The Big Burn premieres on American Experience on Tuesday, September 9, 8 p.m. ET on PBS (check local listings).

American Experience documentaries have been honored with every major broadcast award, including 30 Emmy Awards, four duPont-Columbia Awards, and 16 George Foster Peabody Awards. The Big Burn will be available on DVD on September 30, as well as for online viewing at


FDNY and the Military