I recently read Report from Engine Company 82 which follows a firefighter working in the Bronx during the late 1960's for those who are not familiar with the book.
I have seen a picture of the station, but I was curious about the apparatus used just to fill in the mental picture to go along with the book. I was wondering if someone could point me towards pictures of the apparatus used by the FDNY Engine 82 and 85 and Ladder 31 & 712 in the period 1968-73, or at least the type of apparatus used so I can try to find similar vehicles. I've tried googling and yahooing but no luck.
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12-14-2004, 03:09 PM #1
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- Feb 2004
Apparatus in Report from Engine company 82?
12-14-2004, 03:50 PM #2
I gotta be careful here, coming from the other side of the pond...or I'll be seen like those rich US Tourists who come to London and tell us more about our city than we know ourselves!!!!
But anyway, being a bit of an FDNY Buff...albeit a 'Brit' FDNY buff I have looked in a number of books I have on the FDNY. Although I have no specific images in these books of the Intervale Avenue Apparatus, I do have a few from that era, including some other Bronx units.
I can't scan these for copyright reasons, but there are similar apparatus (although not in FDNY livery) to those in my books, some are actually ex-FDNY on a couple of websites FDNY Trucks.com at the bottom of the page show similar apparatus.
Now I'll go back to my own Side of the pond and worry about 'Dennis' and 'Merryweather' Fire Engines instead of 'Macks' and 'Lafrances' and ket one of the FDNY Older hands answer this question, but at least I got it started!!!
12-14-2004, 04:12 PM #3
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- Nov 2000
- Sitting on my Laa Laa waiting for my Yaa Yaa
I believe the engine was a 'C' model Mack. Not sure about the ladder.Chris Minick, P.E., Firefighter II
Structures Specialist, MD-TF 1
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12-14-2004, 04:24 PM #4I recently read Report from Engine Company 82 which follows a firefighter working in the Bronx during the late 1960's for those who are not familiar with the book.
Anybody who hasn't heard of the book probably lives a very hermitlike existence!"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY
12-14-2004, 04:35 PM #5
I stand corrected. Engine 82 and the others companies so named in Report From Engine 82, has used a lot of different makes, models, styles of fire apparatus, since they have been service. It is hard to say which one was used at any point in time. It all depends on what the FDNY was buying and issuring to the comapnies at any given time in the history of these fire companies.
Last edited by CaptOldTimer; 12-15-2004 at 04:12 PM.Stay Safe and Well Out There....
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12-14-2004, 04:38 PM #6
You might want to pick up a book called "Wheels of the Bravest" it's a very thorough history of FDNY apparatus up into the 90's. I think they broke it down by decade. I haven't looked at it in years, but it might be what you are looking for.
12-14-2004, 07:37 PM #7
- Join Date
- Oct 2002
There is one line in the book, "Report From Engine 82", where it refers to one of the characters as he dismounts the tiller seat. I have the book, "Wheels of the Bravest" and in it I believe there are 2 different pictures of Ladder 31. Both are ALF tillers, one an open cab from the earlier 60's, the other is a closed cab. According to the book, the last ALF tillers the department purchased were in 1968 or 69. After that and up to and including today, all tillered ladders in the FDNY were/are Seagraves. I also have another book by Dennis Smith that he did in conjunction with a photographer, Jill Kelly I think her name was, called "Firehouse". It is more of a photo book from that era. There are a couple of pictures in it of a Mack Tower Ladder with a 31 on the door, which I believe 31 Truck was assigned later on in the "War Years". (How much water went out the Stang gun of that bucket back in the day?) This book was published in the mid 70's, after Dennis was transferred to Ladder 61 in Co-Op City. For some reason, I want to say that 82 Engine ran with a Ward LaFrance "Firebrand" for a while. I remember seeing a picture of it somewhere, maybe in "Wheels of the Bravest" as well. When I came on the job, we had an enormous collection of old Firehouse Magazines on a shelf in the dorm, and in those old magazines there was often an ad for Mack Fire apparatus. In the ad, it touted the ruggedness of the busiest (at that time) engine company in the world, which was 82 and how thay had a Mack CF and all that. So, in closing, they probably over that time had more than 1 make and type of apparatus, from straight stick/tillers to tower ladders, and at least 2 types of pumpers. Hell, they probably wore the damn things out so fast back then they were changed out quite often. We in these modern days of the fire service will probably never see what those guys did with that type of workload, and I say thak God for that.Leroy140 (yes, THAT Leroy)
Fairfield, CT, Local 1426
12-15-2004, 12:43 AM #8
- Join Date
- May 1999
- Here, There, Everywhere
Look at here for a pic of L31
Most of the rigs at the time of the writing of Report from E82 were open cab tillers. Many were American LaFrance.
If you've ever seen the BBC documetary "The Bronx is Burning". You'll see the rigs used during that time. Most of it was before the Tower ladder came to L31.
The first Tower Ladders went to Lower Manhattan and the first Bronx tower ladder was I think 17..not sure though
The Engines that were used during that time were the old Macks with the Conastoga wagon look. (the cover bounced projectiles and moltov coctails from landing in the hose bed)
12-15-2004, 04:09 AM #9If you've ever seen the BBC documetary "The Bronx is Burning".
12-15-2004, 07:47 AM #10
- Join Date
- Jan 1999
I believe it was a Ward as well. In the book there is no reference to jump seats. There are many references to backstep and side step riding. There are also references to the trucks have a standing exhaust pipe. To me that means stacks, but I could be wrong.
12-15-2004, 09:42 AM #11
When I came on the job, we had an enormous collection of old Firehouse Magazines on a shelf in the dorm,September 11th - Never Forget
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12-15-2004, 02:58 PM #12
- Join Date
- Feb 2004
Thanks, it actually makes me feel better to see so many possibilities thrown out, I was coming up with many of the same answers, guess its just not that easy of a question. The possibility of apparatus replacement mid-stream is certainly a possibility that throws in another wrench. I was leaning towards the older L model Macks for the engines myself, primarily based on the comments mentioned about riding side and tailboard which kind of rules out the Mack CF and cab over ALF's. I didn't see enough description to make a decision on the trucks. What really surprised me was that with the way FDNY values their history and tradition there is little on the Bronx, most focuses on Manhattan, at least on line. I have a book on the history of FDNY apparatus coming in the mail which hopefully will be able to give me a better idea. Some good referances for me to watch out for too, I will definately have to watch for that BBC special.
Anyway thanks for the help.
12-16-2004, 08:26 PM #13
Why not email the author? He is,in fact, a brother. A very down to earth, personable man. I had the privilage of meeting him when his book "Report From Ground Zero" came out at a book signing.
He has his own web site: www.dennissmith.com
I'm sure he would have no problem helping you out.
Last edited by fieldseng2; 12-16-2004 at 08:28 PM.
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