Report day 2: 8 January.New York
The second day in New York I had the honor to ride along with chief Joe Downey. Joe Downey is the chief of the Special Operations Command on Roosevelt Island which I described yesterday. Joe Downey’s father made SOC to what it is today. After a call for a person on the tracks of the subway we stopped at Squad station 18. Joe Downey used to be captain of this squad company. The squad company is nearly the same as the earlier described resque company. Their training is equal. There are a few differences: a squad company also has the function of an engine company. This means they are first respond in the area around the firehouse. Besides this they have more hazmat equipment. They are not able to do scuba diving. The mission of a resque company is to save colleagues in trouble. This is not the main mission of a squad company, however they are trained to do so. In case of emergency they can respond to such a call.
After the visit to squad 18 we went to the burn hospital. One of the FDNY firefighters is recovering there from severe burn wounds all over his body. The reason why I mention this is because I was surprised by two facts: The first one was the big amount of colleagues that were present in the hospital. Although it was some time ago a lot of colleagues, even those who don’t personally know this man are rendering him a visit. The second is that one of the members of the rescue company stays in the hospital to help his wounded colleague and his family with everything they need. While we were there another company stopped by with chilli they made for their colleague that stays in the hospital and for the family of the wounded firefighter. Overall it was a very impressive sight to see. Their devotion and dedication is admirable!
After this we went straight back to the firehouse: The New York Giants were playing a play-off match for the Superbowl. The SOC crew made some Mexican bites and we all sat down by the TV to watch the game. An enjoyable introduction to American football!
Throughout the day it was quiet in New York. No fires were reported. I spent the night at Squad 252 in Brooklyn. Lieutenant John Cereillo was on duty that night and I felt really honored to be on his shift. Lieutenant John Cereillo (for the insiders) is part of the legendary ‘underwriter laboratories’. We spoke a lot about high-rise fires, positive pressure ventilation and fire development. I learned a lot that night!