"GOOD NEWS AND NEW YEAR'S
Chief Billy Goldfeder
First, a GOOD NEWS update on FDNY Lt.
Stephen Halliday who was critically injured on 11/07/02. As you'll read
below-he is making a remarkable recovery. Fortunately, his PASS device
functioned properly, his bunker gear protected him...AND the staffing at
that fire was good enough to allow an effective rescue. As we like to say..."How
would that have been handled at your FD"?
So many times, we STILL hear of FD's that
STILL don't have automatic PASS devices on their SCBA's...FD's that respond
with ridiculously low staffing or firefighters not wearing their gear...as
a matter of fact, I recently was advised of a Chief officer in northern
Ohio who entered a building without any gear whatsoever (with heavy smoke
showing) and the room flashed...he was wearing his street clothes. He woke
up in the burn unit. Predictable? Duh. When is the last time you even checked
out your bunker gear to see how it's holding up? Recently, a nearby FD
inspected their gear and it looked fine from the outside-and then found
out the insides had deteriorated...interior material layers made of inferior
materials were destroyed but they had no clue until they thoroughly checked
Well-It's 2003. Who knows WHAT'S gonna
happen in this business of ours-hopefully, like FDNY (no firefighter deaths
in 2002) the rest of the nation will mimic that in 2003. On the other hand-just
by looking around, you can kinda predict what will probably happen. Now-please
don't expect some deeply philosophical statements below to suggest HOW
it can all change-you know what needs to happen. This ain't rocket science
BUT we do have a few FREE "New Years Resolutions"
that you might find of value for the New Year of 2003! These are VERY handy
little resolutions....you can copy them, paste'm up, pass them on, put
on desks, post on lockers and slide under doors!
G's WITH THE COMMAND's
NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS:
1. Try to look before backing apparatus
so ya don't rip doors off and run anyone over.
2. Try to generally slow down and try
to stop at red lights while responding so ya don't hurt anyone.
3. Secure or even close the roadways
down when your members are operating on them so some lunatic doesn't run
4. Spend at least the same amount of
time training (to make sure some FF's "have a clue" when operating) as
we do discussing, planning, making, eating and digesting the ever important
5. PRINT and DISTRIBUTE items such as
THE "priceless" SECRET LIST, online fire related items and sites such as
WithTheCommand.Com, magazine articles and other "stuff" that will help
the FF's GET IT....AND...if they ignore these items, post them in the BATHROOMS
so they HAVE to read it.
6. Operate w/DICTATORIAL accountability
and strict/disciplined command & control on the scene.
7. Don't stop yelling and screaming
to your superiors, elected officials, bosses and others who make more money
than you do if your fire radios don't work right and you can't speak to
each other via radio on a scene.
8. Try your best to teach/learn that
ventilation requires a TRUCK COMPANY crew, not a FAN blowing air in the
9. Lay a supply line" on structural
responses so we have it when we need it...and we'll cheerfully help pack
it when we are done.
10.Make sure that you INVITE as many
FD's as it takes (to get the tasks done) to a first alarm assignment reporting
a structural fire until ya know that they won't be needed.
11.Encourage your FD to regularly TRAIN
with the other FD's and Companies that ya respond with so when we get to
a scene, we don't have to spend 20 minutes socializing & cordially
"getting to know each other" while the building burns down.
12. Spend some of your "precious valuable
time" assuring the apparatus and all equipment & tools are "ready"
before the run comes in....it's sucks when the roof saw is out of fuel
or the airpak is low.
13. TRY to make the scenes a bit safer
with enough people (call mutual aid if you don't have it-enough excuses!)
to provide an effective and trained RIT/FAST Team, a backup hoseline or
two, a search crew, a vent crew, water supply, sector officers and even
someone to watch the garage door so it doesn't close on the members operating
14. Work FEVERISHLY on a personal goal
of minimizing NTS wherever possible.
15. Devote some TIME to teach, train
and guide some of the 6-22's you work with. (Whats a 6-22 ?...a 6-22 is
a FF with 6 months on the job but acts like they have 22 years experience...!
16. Encourage your FD to look BEYOND
"low bid" on the stuff we need and also do "provable" research on the stuff
to support that. Give the bosses the "ammo" they need so you don't end
up with crap.
17. Attend AT LEAST one national fire
related school or conference for training....even if you have to pay for
it (a/k/a invest in) yourself. Not sure which ones? How about FDIC, FDIC
West, Firehouse Expo, Firehouse World, Command School, IAFC's Fire-Rescue
International etc etc?
18. Apply to take a course at the National
Fire Academy. It's free.
19. Work to support politicians who
have proven to support firefighters and related programs-and will work
even harder to remove those that don't.
20. FORGET? NEVER. We are supposedly
a Country that had been attacked and need to act more like it. 343 firefighters
and thousands of other good people were murdered on 9-11-01 as well as
prior to that in terrorist attacks. Don't let Americans forget...no matter
how hard they may want to. We really need to do whatever it takes to carry
on that message and insure that it NEVER happens again. Sometimes we worry......but
WE NEVER give up.
Happy New Year!
Fire hero winning battle for life
By MICHELE McPHEE
NY Daily News-1-1-03
FDNY Lt. Stephen Halliday was the only
firefighter seriously injured in 2002.Halliday, badly burned battling a
fire in Queens on Nov. 7, has spent the past 55 days in the hospital fighting
for his life.
The flames burned fingers off his left
hand, scarred his head and shoulders, even burned him to the bone in some
areas of his body.
After six painful surgeries and several
close calls, Halliday's wife and two young daughters are grateful that
he is alive at all.
"The day he got hurt, I remember begging
the doctors, 'Please, just keep him alive and I can deal with anything
else,'" Linda Halliday told the Daily News yesterday. "I just didn't want
to lose him; we couldn't lose him."
Next week, Halliday is scheduled to leave
the burn unit atWeill Cornell Medical Center and enter a rehabilitation
Smoking in bed
The 15-year FDNY veteran was in charge
of firefighters at Ladder 165 in Queens when the unit got a call for a
house fire on 178th Place in St. Albans. The blaze was started by a careless
tenant who ignited his mattress smoking in bed.
Halliday was searching for victims who
could have been trapped in the inferno when a burning piece of furniture
crashed down on top of him.
As flames covered his bunker gear, Halliday's
air was running out. His alarm - signaling that a firefighter was in distress
- summoned other firefighters, and the last thing he remembered was being
lifted out of the fire.
"I was a breath or two away from not coming
out when they came and got me," Halliday said last night from his hospital
bed, with his wife and daughters Emily, 11, and Sarah, 10, at his side.
"My air was just about out, and my mask had holes in it from the heat when
they found me. I can't say enough about the guys at that job."
That day, firefighters frantically cut
off Halliday's smoking bunker gear and doused him with water. His gloves,
however, could not be removed because they had melted into his skin.
"I was burned. I knew I was badly burned.
I didn't have any time left, and the guys plucked me out seconds before
it was too late," he added. "If it wasn't for them, I wouldn't be here
For now, members of the Halliday family
- who live in Babylon, L.I. - have centered their lives around the burn
unit, where most FDNY firefighters recover after being injured.
They celebrated Thanksgiving, Christmas
and Sarah's birthday in Halliday's hospital room.
"We're so lucky he's still here," Linda
Halliday said. "He's grateful to be here, too."