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June 30, 2010

Building Collapse Rescue Operations: FDNY Technical Search Capabilities

Search operations are the foundation of FDNY collapse rescue. If victims can’t be located, then they cannot be rescued. It is imperative that every piece of equipment in the FDNY arsenal be considered during a collapse search and rescue operation. Understanding all available search methods and […]
June 30, 2010

Causes of Building Collapse During Haiti’s Earthquake

On January 12, 2010, at approximately 1653 hours EST, Haiti’s ground shook for the first time in more than 240 years with a magnitude 7.0 earthquake. What followed during the next hours, days and weeks, can only be described as both predictable and miraculous. Shortly after […]
June 30, 2010

Search Strategies and Tactics Employed by NY-TF1 in Haiti

This article focuses on some of the search operations and tactics employed by New York Task Force 1 (NY-TF1) during the Haiti earthquake deployment. Search operations are the foundation of a US&R Task Force mission. In the simplest terms, if victims can’t be located, they can’t […]
June 30, 2010

Deployment to Haiti

If you are a baseball fan, you will never forget the 1989 World Series in San Francisco, California. The Loma Prieta earthquake occurred during the warm-up for the third game of the World Series, featuring the Oakland Athletics and the San Francisco Giants. Images of collapsed […]
March 31, 2010

FDNY SCUBA Operations

The City of New York has numerous bodies of water–rivers, lakes and the Atlantic Ocean–that present the potential for water emergencies, including drowning. Water recreation–including boating, jet skiing and kayaking–passenger ships, cargo ships, planes, helicopters and suicidal emotionally depressed persons (EDPs) dictate the need for FDNY […]
March 31, 2010

Functions of the Safety Officer at Water Incidents

This past year, the FDNY responded to two major water incidents. (See “Airbus in the Hudson Results in a Happy Ending,” by Deputy Chief James D. Daly, Jr., and Battalion Chief Michael Buckheit, on page 4, and “Air Tragedy Above the Hudson River,” by Deputy Assistant […]
March 31, 2010

Air Tragedy Above the Hudson River

A tranquil, sunny, summer Saturday was marred shortly before noontime on August 8, 2009. A fixed-wing private aircraft–leaving Teterboro Airport and headed for Ocean City, New Jersey–with three members of a Pennsylvania family collided over the Hudson River with a Liberty Tours helicopter–  carrying a pilot […]
March 31, 2010

Improvised Explosive Devices: Responding to and Managing the Complex Attack Scenario

U.S. military personnel have been heavily engaged in counter-insurgency operations in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. The improvised explosive device (IED) has served as one of the enemy’s most reliable and deadly weapons against both military personnel and innocent civilians. The IED threat includes the employment […]
March 31, 2010

Water Issues in the Bronx Resolved with Aid from the DEP

On March 22, 2009, at 0600 hours, units received a telephone alarm reporting a fire in a tavern located at East Tremont Avenue and Westchester Square. Usually, alarms received early on Sunday morning for fires in commercial occupancies after stores have been closed for some time […]
March 31, 2010

Wind-Driven Fire in a Row of Queens Two-Story Frames Prompts a Sixth Alarm Water Issues in the Bronx Resolved with Aid from the DEP

On a windy day in February 2009, the beginnings of a major fire in Woodhaven, Queens, started innocently enough. At approximately 1155 hours on the morning of February 12, 2009, an elderly male occupant living at 91-18 96th Street went to the second-floor bedroom of his […]
December 1, 2012

Watch Out for Rooftop Protective Barriers!

When roof Firefighters arrive at a fire in a building that has a rooftop fence, they often question: Why was that fence installed in my way? The answer is simple: The building owner probably did not have a choice. The prevalence of protective barriers on the […]
December 1, 2012

After Action Review for Bronx Box 44-3217, April 14, 2012 — Lessons Learned/Reinforced (sidebar to above)

The adage that no two fires are ever the same is a familiar refrain to everyone in the FDNY. Perhaps it has never been more appropriate as on the afternoon of April 14, 2012. This particular incident eventually required multiple alarms, using approximately 200 Firefighters in […]
December 1, 2012

The After Action Review: A Learning Tool for Developing Better Firefighters

An After Action Review (AAR) is a structured assessment discussion for analyzing operations. It is used to determine what occurred at an incident and why it happened. Additionally, an AAR can generate information concerning how your organization can do things better. It functions as a performance […]
December 1, 2012

Man in Machine!

Forty-six years ago, Rescue 3 was summoned to the emergency room of Lincoln Hospital in the Bronx to assist doctors with a problem. A young man had been transported with his hand enmeshed in a commercial meat grinder. The doctors believed that their only medical alternative […]
December 1, 2012

Tornadoes Touch Down in Brooklyn and Queens (Again)

Closely spaced tornadoes ripped through a small beach community in Queens and a Brooklyn neighborhood on Saturday, September 8, 2012, causing downed power lines, uprooted trees and minor structural damage. Fortunately, no serious injuries were reported. A bystander captured this shot of the tornado touching down […]
December 1, 2012

SCUBA Dive Rescue Operations: A Familiarization Course that Addresses Supervisory Concerns

When civilian drowning casualties began to steadily increase within the confines of the Rockaway Peninsula 2008 through 2009, Battalion Chief Michael McGrath, Battalion 47, sought input from various FDNY units that respond to water emergencies in an attempt to streamline FDNY operations within his Command. Subsequently, […]
December 1, 2012

Situational Awareness (SA) Analysis

Everybody goes. Phone alarm…first-due engine, first-due truck…Fire in a commercial building. The address is 1655 Pitkin Avenue. The fire is reported on the first floor. CIDS (Critical Information Dispatch System) information is available upon request. As Firefighters hear the house watchman read the ticket, FDNY members […]
December 1, 2012

The Crucial Role of Fire Prevention

There is a misconception that the Bureau of Fire Prevention is a separate and distinct entity, with no relationship to the day-to-day fire prevention, inspection and life safety activities of units in the field. This illusion has been entrenched in the minds of Firefighters and Officers. […]