Thread: Thoughts on 9-11 and the FDNY
09-02-2004, 03:01 PM #1
Thoughts on 9-11 and the FDNY
I was listening to TheBravest.com (FDNY live dispatch) when the towers started to get hit. I was sickened to tears when I turned the TV on and watched as the worst chapter in the FDNY's, for that matter the United States, played out.
When I saw the towers come down I was talking to my wife and the first thing she said was "I hope everyone got out". I new the magnitude of the job and from the bits and pieces I heard on the computer... I knew not everyone got out.
It was truly heart wrenching to finally realize just how many did not get out. The pictures that poured out of New York... Father Judge being carried off, people running for there lives, apparatus being crushed as if made of paper.
The most profound video that stuck with me was, besides the flag being raised by the three FDNY brothers, is the doctor that went filming just after the collapse. You could see the choking dust and smoke, see piles of rubble that looked like mountains, and all you could hear besides people yelling were... the PASS devices... hundred of them going off...
It brought a cold chill down my spine that remains with me to this day everytime I hear one.
And now the FDNY is getting tons of bad press. Drinking in the firehouse, DUI's, sex in the fire stations... you name it I think it has happened.
But why... is it because these guys have always done this? I am not going to sit here and try to argue the fact that drinking has always gone on in the fire service... not just the FDNY. But I think that this is being done less for party sake rather than a way to mask the pain in an attempt to "wash" away what has happened since 9-11.
You are dealing with over 11,000 men and women that went through the worst thing that YOU OR YOUR NEGHBORING department can ever think about going through. They made it through... though with scrapes, bruises and loss of 343 loved ones that will never be replaced... they did it with class, honor and a professionalism that will never be exceeded.
The FDNY needs help. Who would need help after something like 9-11. These guys are hurting bad... and bad stuff is going to continue unless the City gets off its *** and starts to recognize that you have FF's with breathing difficulties from Ground Zero. The very people that went to save thousands may in fact die a horrible lung infected death or a cancerous enigma caused from the inhalation of a toxic cocktail of dust and smoke from the Twin Towers... yet the illustrious City of New York, Mayor Bloomberg as well as Scoppetta and the FDNY hiearchy will not recognize it. They would rather sit and figure out ways on how not to give the brothers a valid contract to work under. They would rather bust their balls on rules and regulations rather than attempt to help heal the wounds.
I am an outsider looking in. I have a pretty decent idea on what is going on... yet I am not there. Some of you may say it is none of my business what I say on this matter. To those I say... you have a right to your "opinion".
I can tell you for a fact that Bloomberg needs to do the right thing and give the FDNY a working contract. Quit busting the fellows heads in and give them something to work with.
Someone or some group is going to sit there for only so long before they bite back. Remember this...
Brothers are hurting in the FDNY and when they hurt... I hurt. You should all be in pain. To see the ranks of a department of the FDNY's calibur being treated the way it is should make you sick.
Most will agree with me, but offer nothing. Some will say, it doesnt effect me so I am not concerned with it. The few will offer help in any way it can and with in its realm of assistance.
I am one of the few. What do you need from me? I will help in anyway I can. my email is firstname.lastname@example.org
Everyone else needs to say the same thing. I challenge everyone else to stand up and say "What can I do to help?"
09-02-2004, 03:28 PM #2
- Join Date
- Mar 2000
- Sitting in my chair, listening to the scanner while the young kids respond
I'm willing to help any way I can. In my 31 years of active firefighting I never saw what happened in New York or the days that followed. A double fatal who have been a major incident for my department.
All of us need to sit back and think about what these people went thru and also how many civilians were saved because of their brave actions. The mutts are quick to offer congratulations on a job well done but then not follow thru with the care and compensation needed to sustain such an essential service.
I don't have a solution to the problem (if there is one). If I did I would be a rich man. What I do know is that until firefighters are treated as professionals like lawyers, accountants, doctors, etc.,we will continue to be treated like second class citizens in the big realm of municipal finance.
Remember, when the bell rings or the pager goes off, it is not the federal government that responds. It is the local firefighters both in New York and in Podunk village.
Again, if I new how to help FDNY I sure would.
IACOJ (Retired Division)
09-02-2004, 04:09 PM #3
FDNY=America's Fire Department
It is an incredible phenomenon. There are people and firefighters coast to coast that feel a connection of some sort to the FDNY.
It is of course because of the cowardly attacks of Sept 11, 2001.-Brotherhood: I don't know half of you half as well as I should like; and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve.
-Mistakes: It could be that the purpose of you life is to serve as a warning to others.
-Adversity: That which does not kill me postpones the inevitable.
-Despair: Its always darkest before it goes Pitch Black.
09-02-2004, 09:34 PM #4
- Join Date
- Jun 2003
- Westlake, Ohio
Excellent post! I'm not a firefighter nor am I from New York City, but I follow what goes on there via the New York newspapers, and I am just really saddened by this year's news stories. It seems that the only response from the FDNY "brass" is to take a hard line and punish those involved in these incidents. Meanwhile, a department that lost hundreds of lives and years of experience is losing even more by firing firefighters who could be helped. Do they use peer counseling there, or is it just the traditional method? Some people simply can't walk into a psychiatrist's office and spill their guts; they need to talk with people who have a similar background and life experiences. I can't even imagine in my worst nightmares what these people went through. It's inconceivable. I do know that it takes a lot of courage to see what they saw and still go to work every day. I just hope someone higher up does something to address the problems, because what's being done now isn't helping anyone.
09-02-2004, 10:04 PM #5
- Join Date
- Aug 2004
A old saying goes and fits this perfect
WHEN WE DO RIGHT NO ONE REMEBERS BUT WHEN WE DO WRONG NO ONE FORGETS..... To our brothers on FDNY we will always remember and we will never forget.......
09-03-2004, 12:05 AM #6
- Join Date
- Nov 2001
Great post sconfire.
This is from the FDNY Strategic Report 2004-2005
Services provided to New Yorkers and visitors fiscal year 2003:
892,017 Fire Apparatus Responses
432,969 Fires, Emergencies, Medical Incidents
51,145 Extinguished Fires
1,267,340 EMS Unit Responses
1,088,378 Medical Emergencies
6.292 Fires Investigated for potential arson/cause and origin
183,403 Fire Code Regulatory Inspections
1,834 Fire Safety Events
I do know we need to be doing more than we are for the FDNY and for our nation's fire service.
I don't know what I can do, but you have me in your corner.
Sherry (aka Cheffie)
Last edited by superchef; 09-08-2004 at 12:14 PM.
09-03-2004, 09:13 AM #7Originally posted by kentbwj
Do they use peer counseling there, or is it just the traditional method? Some people simply can't walk into a psychiatrist's office and spill their guts; they need to talk with people who have a similar background and life experiences.
Yes we do use peer counselors. We also have the most complex Counseling Service Unit of any department in the country. There is a "main" office in Manhattan (old medical office) and there are 4 "satallite" offices...1 in Long Island, 1 in Staten Island, 1 in Queens @ the EMS Academy, and 1 in Orange County NY. The units are staffed with CSWs, DRs, PhDs, etc...and offer a full range of programs, everything from Alchol/Drug counseling to Retired Mens programs. We are also connected to another full range of Hospitals, clinics and Substance Abuse centers and "Farms". We can even assign Firefighters on Light Duty to us for 1-4 weeks under Familiy Stress and WTC Stress catagories.
But here is the problem.....There are alot of myths about the FDNY/CSU...many guys think that if you go to counseling then they are "flagged", get a red mark on thier personnel folder, and will be watched by BITS, so they are afraid to come in and sometimes deter the brothers from coming in as well. This is entirely untrue....The fact is that 9 MetroTech (HQ) never sees our files...and can't do anything to a guy who is our client.
Another problem is with EMS....thier work scheduale and current contract...or lack of one...severley hinders them from coming in and we can not place EMS on any stress leave....unless authorized by the Dept. Docs.
I hope this helps..IACOJ Member
09-03-2004, 03:46 PM #8
What a fantastic Post ...and one I wholeheartedly agree with. New York City went through what our forefathers in the UK and in particular London went through in the Blitz....Back then Firemen from the US & Canada raised an amazing amount for the widows and children in the UK.
In the UK depsite the 1 Million fires attended each year the death of two brothers makes a small column in the back of the newspaper while a Fireman busted for some misdemeanor makes every damned front page in the Country!!!
We supported our brothers in FDNY after 9/11, UK Firemen were flying over for Funerals and memorials... their loss was our loss. When we had a labour Dispute, FDNY Firemen as well as others including the author of this post came to the UK and stood on the picket lines to see our members get a living wage.
The Brotherhood between the Firefighters in both Countries is strong. Again this year I will be in NYC for memorial day... I have no doubt that again I will see US Firefighters standing on line at St Paul's Cathedral in London for our memorial service.
The Firefighters of New York City bled on 9/11 while the rest of us wept. Because it made great air time and sold newspapers the media pulled all of the stops out in the weeks after the attacks... Now why the Brothers of New York still feel the wounds of 9/11 the 'media' types and those in power have forgotten the sacrifices of our brothers...
They don't dream of a friend who they will never see again...they don't sit on a Fire truck and still hear the laugh of a Brother over the siren. While they are at their Manhattan cocktail parties piling up their expense account they no longer think of the Fireman crawling down a smoking hall way a few miles away across the river...wondering if his friend is by his side in spirit. WE HOPE WE MADE YOU FEEL GOOD ABOUT YOURSELEVES FOR A WHILE!!!
Shame on them...if they went through a fraction of what any FDNY Guy did on that day they would still be in therapy to this day.
Brothers, fear not. You have the strength and spirit to rise above their petty bull*****...As the third Anniversary approaches every Firefighter worth their salt in any part of the World will remember the sacrifices and heroism of that day...From those of us who have been walking this street for many years right up to the newest Probie'; Your bravery will inspire us for ever more.Steve Dude
London Fire Brigade...."Can Do"
'Irony'... It's a British thing.
09-03-2004, 05:49 PM #9
Well said Steve! I will not be able to go to New York because of conflicting schedules and a "little one" on the way... but we will honor them here... as always.
Steve, you need to detour to Charleston and come see us for a few days!
09-04-2004, 07:21 AM #10
- Join Date
- Aug 2001
Great thread. I spent some time in FDNY firehouses recently and although I expected some sadness to remain from the loss of so many Brothers, the levels of pain, emotion, stress, sadness, grief and so forth that were evident were truly shocking, to the point where I was in tears myself during several private moments. Most of it was not initially evident as it was not openly displayed, but as the days went by it became very obvious it was there at a level that really hasn't abated since the days just after 9/11. How these guys continue to do their jobs I don't really know. I don't even think that they really should have been expected to in the days following 9/11, but obviously they had to. I returned to Australia very frustrated, because like everyone else I wanted to help, however the problem is so large that it isn't something that I think that one person alone can help.
To all the guys in FDNY, we know you are still hurting, we share the sadness and we will never forget, however we want to be able to do more than what we are doing currently, so if ANYONE - FDNY or otherwise has some ideas now is the time to put them on the table, because we don't want to see this situation continue for one moment longer than it has to.
If it's necessary to form a committee of Brothers from around the world to co-ordinate something then let it be done, and done soon, because for so many years FDNY has represented what we all aspire to be - the best and the bravest.
Last edited by stillPSFB; 09-04-2004 at 07:30 AM.Busy polishing the stacked tips on the deckgun of I.A.C.O.J. Engine#1
...and before you ask - YES I have done a Bloody SEARCH!
09-08-2004, 09:11 AM #11
- Join Date
- Jan 2004
Great posts guys. Right now we are a target because it is a hot topic in the news. SteveDude I think you hit it right on the head. Any way.
Every day something brings back a memory or a feeling from 9/11, usually several. Many of us are still hurting. It's not going to go away any time soon. It is nice though to see many people/brothers in our corner after the bad press we've been getting,(much to our own doing). Thanks.
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