November 12, 2001, started as a beautifully clear and mild day in Belle Harbor, Queens–a middle-class neighborhood on the Rockaway Peninsula. Schools were closed for the Veteran’s Day observance and some residents were starting to enjoy a day off from work. The peaceful setting of this holiday morning was shattered when an American Airlines jetliner crashed into the area. Read More
Most WNYF articles examine lessons learned from past fires. This article, however, looks at new technologies and ways of commanding in the near future. Commanding at fires and disasters requires Incident Commanders (IC) to attain situational awareness, make critical decisions and perform complex organizational tasks to protect life and property. They are asked to act decisively, yet remain adaptable to a changing threat environment.The speed with which they are able to acquire and use information is critical for commanding during a crisis. Read More
The brush fire problem in New York City is nowhere near as widespread as it once was, but it is more severe. Many more structures have been built in recent years, eliminating many recurrent brush fire areas. However, many of these structures have been built right up to and even into wildland areas, creating more imminent exposure problems. Another recent problem is that much of the existing natural vegetation is protected by law and cannot be cut down around homes to create a firebreak.
Cellular phone companies are establishing cellular phone sites in buildings throughout New York City. It is not uncommon to have buildings with two or three different cellular phone site installations. These systems, strategically placed after an in-depth analysis by telecommunication engineers,can cause operational difficulties for FDNY firefighting forces.Read More
It was 1800 hours on October 24, 2006, when Lieutenant Gary Velilla, Engine 303, Lieutenant Frank Burke, Engine 275, and Captain Phil Ciaravino, Ladder 133, held roll call at their quarters on Merrick Boulevard, Queens. This was the first tour with the three companies in the same quarters due to apparatus floor repairs underway at the quarters of Engine 303 and Ladder 126 on Princeton Street. Ladder 126 also was working their first tour at
the quarters of Squad 270 and Division 13.Read More