By Dave Caplan
The origins of the New York Fire Department can be traced back to 1658 when the Dutch Colony of New Amsterdam had 250 leather shoe buckets made to help fight fires. These buckets would be used in a “bucket brigade” passing the water filled buckets from one man to the next and then onto the fire. It wasn’t until 1736 that the city’s first firehouse opened on Broad St in front of City Hall.
The NYFD has grown a bit since then and now stands as the largest fire department in the USA and the 2nd largest in the world behind Tokyo. Today the NYFD employs over 11,000 uniformed firefighters and 3,300 EMT’s and Paramedics. There are 221 fire stations, 198 engines and 143 ladder trucks in NYC.
The most defining moment for the NYFD came on September 11th 2001 when over 200 units and more than 400 firefighters responded to the attacks at the World Trade Center. Ignoring their own safety, hundreds of firefighters disappeared into the wounded towers in the hope of saving as many lives as possible. 343 Firemen had lost their lives that day. Prior to 9/11 the most firefighters lost in one event had been 12. Across from the World Trade Center site bolted to the side of Ladder Company 10 is a 56’ long 6’ high bronze bas relief inscribed with the words; Dedicated to those who fell and to those who carry on. To New Yorkers the FDNY will always be New York’s Bravest.
Last week’s trivia answer – King Charles II brother, the Duke of York
Last week’s mystery photo – Calatrava Concourse at the WTC.
Trivia question-What does Dumbo stand for?