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  1. #1
    Forum Member WestTac1's Avatar
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    Default Firehouse Fight Critically Injures Firefighter

    Firehouse Fight Critically Injures Firefighter
    Injured Firefighter On A Ventilator, Mayor Says

    POSTED: 12:49 PM EST January 1, 2004
    UPDATED: 3:43 PM EST January 1, 2004

    NEW YORK -- One city firefighter was critically injured with several fractures to the face and another was in police custody after horseplay at a Staten Island firehouse degenerated into an ugly fight, authorities said.

    The brawl started about 6:45 p.m. Wednesday between two 40-year-old firefighters at Engine Company 151 in the Tottenville section, police and the fire department said.

    "It may have started off fooling and then got serious," Fire Department spokesman Jack Thompson said. "He probably didn't mean to hurt him that severely but that's what happened."

    The injured firefighter was taken to Staten Island University Hospital, where he was in critical but stable condition. Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the firefighter was on a ventilator but that his injuries were not life-threatening.

    Firefighter Michael Sylvestri was charged with assault, said Thompson. Sylvestri, a firefighter since 1988, was suspended without pay pending investigation, Thompson said.

    The injured firefighter, whose identity was not immediately released, had been a firefighter since 1995. Both live on Staten Island.

    Neither firefighter had faced departmental charges or received any medals, Thompson said.

    Monica Brown, a spokeswoman for the Staten Island district attorney's office, said it was unclear whether Sylvestri would appear in court Thursday in Brooklyn or be held until Friday, when he can appear before a judge on Staten Island.


  2. #2
    Forum Member ThNozzleman's Avatar
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    Mayor Michael Bloomberg said the firefighter was on a ventilator but that his injuries were not life-threatening.
    They're not "life threatening," but the guy's on a ventilator?

  3. #3
    Forum Member WestTac1's Avatar
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    Probaly because his facial injuries/fractures would comprimise his airway..

  4. #4
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    Default

    thats sad. wonder if they will get fired or kicked off the department?


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  5. #5
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    Default Very sad

    The New York Post has three articles on the incident. Apparently, there was initially an attempt to cover up the facts. When the injured firefighter was taken to the hospital, the injuries were said to be from a fall down the stairs, but the hospital got suspicious and notified the FDNY authorities. It's too bad that something this tragic has to be all over the newspapers, making a bad situation even worse. I hope there's some way they can work things out, because it sounds as if they're both dedicated firefighters. I hope the injured firefighter recovers quickly. I also hope something can be done to help the other guy and possibly save his career.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Very sad

    Originally posted by kentbwj
    The New York Post has three articles on the incident. Apparently, there was initially an attempt to cover up the facts. When the injured firefighter was taken to the hospital, the injuries were said to be from a fall down the stairs, but the hospital got suspicious and notified the FDNY authorities. It's too bad that something this tragic has to be all over the newspapers, making a bad situation even worse. I hope there's some way they can work things out, because it sounds as if they're both dedicated firefighters. I hope the injured firefighter recovers quickly. I also hope something can be done to help the other guy and possibly save his career.
    I don't think it's too bad it's in the newspapers. The public has a right to know that they're public servants have broken the law. The officer in this house should be fired immediately if he was involved in any way in a cover up. Before you start typing, ask yourself if you would feel the same way if the two combatants were cops and not fire fighters and the incident took place in a precinct.

    I have no idea what the law in NY is, but in NJ, if he was convicted of a felony level crime remotely connected to his position, there is no salvaging his career. He's done.

    The perspective that must be used here is what is the greater good for the organization involved. Not what is right for the member. Clearly the greater good is to reinforce the point that there must be discipline and order in the firehouse. My guess is that there is a whole lot of history between these two guys.

  7. #7
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    Default From the New York Post

    VICIOUS BLOW IN FDNY BRAWL
    By LARRY CELONA, MURRAY WEISS and WILLIAM NEUMAN

    January 2, 2004 -- A New Year's Eve firehouse brawl left one Staten Island firefighter hospitalized with a broken jaw and serious head wounds and another behind bars, authorities said yesterday.
    Police and Fire department investigators were looking into the shocking violence between brother firefighters - and a possible cover-up attempt, in which more than eight hours went by before the incident was reported to cops.

    Police found no alcohol but are investigating whether the flare-up could have been fueled by New Year's Eve drinking.

    The fight occurred at around 6:45 p.m. Wednesday at Engine Co. 151 in Tottenville, as firefighters who were changing shifts sat around a table talking and joking in a kitchen area.

    The group included Bob Walsh, 40, who was getting off work, and Michael Silvestri, 41, who was just starting his shift, sources said.

    At one point, Walsh, who was seated at the table, said something that angered Silvestri - who picked up a chair and raised it as if to hit the other firefighter, authorities said.

    Their friends thought Silvestri was joking - but suddenly, he swung the chair "like a baseball bat" and hit Walsh across the face, according to a relative of Walsh who spoke to some of the firefighters.

    Walsh's brother Jim, 42, said, "There was some verbal horseplay going on between him and Silvestri. My brother said something that hit a nerve and the guy picked up a chair. Everyone was laughing, they thought he was kidding around." But then, Silvestri smashed the chair into Walsh's face like "he was swinging for the fences," the brother said.

    "[Bob] didn't even go to protect himself, and no one thought [Silvestri] would swing it, and then my brother was on the floor.

    "With that one swing, the guy threw away his whole career for something stupid. Who knows what was going through his head. The other guys are in shock. They can't believe he did something like this."

    Walsh, who is 6-foot-8 and 330-pounds, was knocked to the floor, bleeding.

    Other firefighters, including the house's top officer, Capt. Terrence Sweeney, helped him into a car and drove him to Staten Island University Hospital.

    Walsh, an eight-year FDNY veteran, walked into the emergency room under his own power, but he was soon taken to the intensive-care unit. Yesterday, he was in critical but stable condition and on a respirator, in what the family described as a medically induced coma.

    Jim Walsh said his brother had deep cuts to his face, a broken jaw, a broken and gashed nose and a broken eye socket, and will have to undergo extensive surgery.

    Investigators said the firefighters who brought Walsh to the hospital told doctors he got hurt falling down stairs - but the severity of his injuries made doctors suspicious, and they called FDNY headquarters at around 11:30 p.m. to tell them an injured firefighter had been brought in.

    It's not clear when Sweeney informed his superiors of the fight - and sources said he told probers that Walsh did not, at first, appear to be badly hurt.

    Police were not notified until about 3:30 a.m., when a fire marshal walked into the local precinct and told officers that they ought to look into what had happened at Engine Co. 151.

    At about 5:30 a.m., officials said, Sweeney, who had gone home, was told to return to the firehouse, where he met with NYPD detectives.

    Sweeney told Walsh's family that the firefighters in the house were not cooperating with cops - and that he warned his men they could lose their jobs if they didn't say what happened.

    That prompted several of the men to tell police that Silvestri hit Walsh with the chair - and cops charged him with assault.

    Silvestri, a firefighter since 1988, was suspended without pay.

    "It may have started off fooling and then got serious," FDNY spokesman Jack Thompson said. "He probably didn't mean to hurt him that severely, but that's what happened."

    Top FDNY brass were in the house yesterday, talking with the firefighters.

    They wanted to know why it took so long to notify department chiefs and the police - and whether booze was involved.

    Investigators said tests on Walsh showed he did not have elevated levels of alcohol in his bloodstream.

    It wasn't clear what Walsh said that sparked the violence. One source said the two do not get along, and often spar verbally.

    But people who knew Silvestri, who at 6-foot-1 is much smaller than Walsh, said they were surprised that he would attack another firefighter.

    "He's not a confrontational type of guy," said Joe Albunio, 48, a friend.

    "He was studying so that he could move up in rank in the department. That's his life. This is not a guy who would get physical. He's not a fighting guy."

  8. #8
    District Chief distchief60b's Avatar
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    Default

    They're not "life threatening," but the guy's on a ventilator?
    I am not making light of this event in any means...but the fact that he is on a ventilator is due to the "medically induced coma" that he is in which is most likely necessary to reduce the swelling in his brain due to the head trauma.
    see...us dumb "old" firefighters do know some of that medical stuff!

    Otherwise I think this is a horrible, tragic event for FDNY. No fire department needs this type of publicity.

    I also agree with George though that it is good for it to be public knowledge. They do not need any more attempts at covering it up.
    09-11 .. 343 "All Gave Some..Some Gave ALL" God Bless..R.I.P.
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    BMI Investigator
    ------------------------------
    The comments, opinions, and positions expressed here are mine. They are expressed respectfully, in the spirit of safety and progress. They do not reflect the opinions or positions of my employer or my department.

  9. #9
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    I am not making light of this event in any means...but the fact that he is on a ventilator is due to the "medically induced coma" that he is in which is most likely necessary to reduce the swelling in his brain due to the head trauma.
    If this is true, which I have no reason to doubt, this guy is not out of the woods by any stretch of the imagination.

  10. #10
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    Unhappy

    i respect the fact that you are all firefighters, and your concern for your brothers. but what about the fact that everyone is overlooking what happened to the chair?! has anyone even taken one second to think about it's welfare? it doesn't sound like it! as a member of IBOC (International Brotherhood of Chairs), i think it is appalling that you firefighters, who are called upon to save lives, would deliberately put a chair in harms way! and, if that weren't bad enough, nothing was mentioned about the condition of the chair, was it also taken to the hospital along with the firefighter? if so, was it said to the hospital staff that it, too, fell down a flight of stairs? were the family members contacted? for all we know, that chair could be outside in the trash behind the firehouse, and in this weather! were the other chairs questioned as to what really happened?

    i think in all fairness, justice should be brought to this chair! if anyone has any information regarding the whereabouts of and/or well being of this chair, please post a response.

    the IBOC thanks you!

    ima chair

    ps - chairs have feelings too.

  11. #11
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    You're an idiot.

  12. #12
    MembersZone Subscriber E229Lt's Avatar
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    You, my friend, are a dick!

  13. #13
    Forum Member explr985's Avatar
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    i respect the fact that you are all firefighters, and your concern for your brothers. but what about the fact that everyone is overlooking what happened to the chair?! has anyone even taken one second to think about it's welfare? it doesn't sound like it! as a member of IBOC (International Brotherhood of Chairs), i think it is appalling that you firefighters, who are called upon to save lives, would deliberately put a chair in harms way! and, if that weren't bad enough, nothing was mentioned about the condition of the chair, was it also taken to the hospital along with the firefighter? if so, was it said to the hospital staff that it, too, fell down a flight of stairs? were the family members contacted? for all we know, that chair could be outside in the trash behind the firehouse, and in this weather! were the other chairs questioned as to what really happened?
    Darn hospital security gaurds, always leave the back door open and then this happens.
    No longer an explorer, but I didn't wanna lose my posts.

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  14. #14
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    Default LIGHTEN UP!!

    You, my friends, seem to be a little too close to the edge! If you cannot determine that this is obviously in jest, maybe you need to take a few steps back! Life, as we know, is way too short to take it so seriously. Remember, in the line of work, the jokes that are shared so that everyone can get through another day on the job? Of course to the outside world, these jokes are "insensitive, cruel, rotten and horrible". To those who don't understand, it is a way of coping with and dealing with first hand all of the "insensitive, cruel, rotten and horrible" this world unfortunately has to offer. When we cannot find an outlet to release, we are of no use to anyone.

    Also, if memory serves me right, some of the brothers of FDNY, after all of the seriousness of the situation dies down, i'm sure will bust someone's chops about this. To err is human, to forgive divine!

    Lighten up. Remember September 11, 2001.

  15. #15
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    Default

    I'm not too close to the edge and I am a little tired of hearing about 9/11 as an excuse for everything that happens in this country.

    This matter is not funny and is probably indicative of a systemic problem in that firehouse.

    I am auuming that you are a FDNY employee with a mental illness.

  16. #16
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    9/11 is not an excuse for everything that happens in this country. It is a way of making us aware of how short life is, and that we should look at all of the good there is around us, and try to get through every day in the best way possible.

    Sorry you're so uptight. Didn't mean to aggravate you.

  17. #17
    Forum Member PFire23's Avatar
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    Originally posted by imachair
    i respect the fact that you are all firefighters, and your concern for your brothers. but what about the fact that everyone is overlooking what happened to the chair?! has anyone even taken one second to think about it's welfare? it doesn't sound like it! as a member of IBOC (International Brotherhood of Chairs), i think it is appalling that you firefighters, who are called upon to save lives, would deliberately put a chair in harms way! and, if that weren't bad enough, nothing was mentioned about the condition of the chair, was it also taken to the hospital along with the firefighter? if so, was it said to the hospital staff that it, too, fell down a flight of stairs? were the family members contacted? for all we know, that chair could be outside in the trash behind the firehouse, and in this weather! were the other chairs questioned as to what really happened?

    i think in all fairness, justice should be brought to this chair! if anyone has any information regarding the whereabouts of and/or well being of this chair, please post a response.

    the IBOC thanks you!

    ima chair

    ps - chairs have feelings too.
    Dark humor has an appropriate time and place THIS AIN'T IT. Give your head a shake. This involves someone who messed up and has most likely lost his career, and another who is in SERIOUS condition in the hospital, but yeah LET'S HAVE A LAUGH ....... I'm amazed at the audacity of some people.

    I will quote 2 other members here, as I am of the same frame of mind:

    E229Lt: "You, my friend, are a dick!"


    GeorgeWendtCFI: "You're an idiot."
    To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world.

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  18. #18
    Forum Member LACAPT's Avatar
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    imachair, there is a difference between your stupid humor and what is refered to as "gallows humor". As for your type of humor, you can stick it where the sun ain't shinning, because it don't qualify as gallows.

  19. #19
    This space for rent NYSmokey's Avatar
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    imachair,

    I have observed a few things from your posts. First, you apparently got the motivation to join the forums based on this article. Hence, your user name. Second, you have no clue about brotherhood. We should ALL be concerned about our brother firefighter in the hospital. People should be safe inside the firehouse. There are enough dangers once we leave quarters. As far as the alleged assailant goes, I am sure that there is more to this story than what has been reported. I am in no way defending what he did but I don't know the man and I am not going to pass judgement on him now. That's for the courts to do. If I found out that he was glad it happened, my attitude would change. Imachair, while your post might have been an attempt to make light of a tragic situation, it was not well thought out. Put yourself in the shoes of the victim's family and coworkers who witnessed this. If you still don't get it after reading the other posts in this thread, change your screen name to imanass. It would be more fitting. Stay safe.
    Tom

    Never Forget 9-11-2001

    Stay safe out there!

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  20. #20
    Forum Member PFire23's Avatar
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    Originally posted by GeorgeWendtCFI
    I am auuming that you are a FDNY employee with a mental illness.
    Now George, let's give our FDNY Brothers some credit here..... I think it's far more likely that this "poster" hails from a state that just may begin with the first letter of the alphabet and end with the same (and I don't mean Alabama or Alaska) ..... whaddya think???? HAHAHAHAHA
    To the world you might be one person, but to one person you just might be the world.

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