The May 6th 2001 edition of the Boston Sunday Globe's magazine section did as its main feature the amazing story of Fire Lieutenant Raymond McNamara, Newton FD Engine 3. The story was entitled Survivor...The miraculous story of Newton Firefighter Raymond McNamara
Ray Mac, as he is called by his brothers in the Newton FD was severely burned in a chemical explosion at the H.C. Starck company on October 25th, 1993. There was a fire involving a drum of liquid sodium. Newton firefighters were extinguishing the fire using salt and ash (as per protocol) when a shovel being used had gotten exposed to moisture. The small amount of water on the shovel triggered the violent chemical explosion that injured 11 firefighters.
Ray Mac had taken the brunt of the explosion. He was covered in liquid sodium, which burned through his turnouts and severely injured him. He hd 3rd degree burns over 90% of his body. He lost his ears, nose, hair and his eyesight.
He was not expected to live. He spent 14 months in the hospital enduring 30 operations. His Brothers on the Newton Fire Department raised funds for his family, donated blood and took care of Ray Mac's family.
Ray McNamara has not let his injuries get him down. He has tried skydiving, still visits the guys at the firehouse, goes to dinner with them on a regular basis and still has a great sense of humor, as noted in this excerpt from the article about having to cancel an appointment...
You're not going to beleive this" he starts off. Ray Mac has a voice you won't forget- gravelly, almost bluesy- and he's plainly stating words you will also never forget. "My ears, you know, they burned off in the fire. "The ones I have, they're held on by titanium posts, and one of the posts has come loose or something. I can't get the ear to stay". There's a quick chuckle to fill the pause, maybe at the weirdness of it all. I've called the doctor, and he wants me to comer by. Can we reschedule?"
Ray's sons Mike and Brian have followed their father's career path and are both with the Newton Fire Department. All of the 11 firefighters injured at the Starck fire have retired due to their injuries.
If there is one Jake who exudes the courage and the will to carry on, it's Lieutenant Raymond McNamara, Engine 3, Newton FD.
God Bless you, Ray Mac!
Firefighters: Todays heroes protecting everyones tomorrows!
[This message has been edited by Captain Gonzo (edited 05-07-2001).]
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Thread: God Bless You Ray Mac!
05-07-2001, 07:25 PM #1Captain GonzoFirehouse.com Guest
God Bless You Ray Mac!
05-07-2001, 07:33 PM #2hfdfaoFirehouse.com Guest
I just finished reading it, and I still can't believe it. You hit the nail on the head. God Bless you Ray Mac.....you are a survivor!
May your vents be leeward, your searches be negative, and your overhaul complete......
05-07-2001, 09:41 PM #3570eckFirehouse.com Guest
I wish everyone had the courage and heart of Ray that is one hell of an aw inspireing story.
05-08-2001, 08:02 AM #4FireRebelFirehouse.com Guest
God Bless Ray...Good story Cap.
05-08-2001, 09:01 AM #5FireLt1951Firehouse.com Guest
Excellent story Cap. Mac is a firefighter we can all be proud of. God Bless Mac!
05-08-2001, 11:14 AM #6xenophon13Firehouse.com Guest
It is truly unfortunate that we don't have more people like Ray in the fire service. He shows the honor, dedication, and loyalty, that we should all strive to achieve.
I am kinda wondering right now like most everybody else is, just how Nate will respond to this thread, and blame it all on it being an east cost dept.
When the defecation hits the oscillation I'll be there.
05-08-2001, 05:41 PM #7Althea ForhanFirehouse.com Guest
You forgot one thing, Xenophon; He's also got the sense of humor we all need to survive in this field. Beautiful story, Captain.
05-08-2001, 08:38 PM #8Brian DunlapFirehouse.com Guest
05-09-2001, 10:22 AM #9Lewiston2CaptFirehouse.com Guest
Where is everyone getting this article? I have tried to get it online and cant seem to find it. Please let me know. I am interested in reading it. If possible post or email me a link or other way of finding the article.
Shawn M. Cecula
Lewiston Fire Co. No. 2
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