Remembrance Challenge Answer

A fire on this day took the lives of at least one from every rank.








The photo from yesterday is of 6 East 23rd Street in Manhattan. 44 years ago today a floor collapse took the lives of 12 members of the FDNY.

DC Thomas A Reilly, Division 3
BC Walter J Higgins, Battalion 7
Lt John J Finley, Ladder 7
Lt Joseph Priore, Engine 18
Fr John G Berry, Ladder 7
Fr James V Galanaugh, Engine 18
Fr Rudolph F Kaminsky, Ladder 7
Fr Joseph Kelly, Engine 18
Fr Carl Lee Ladder, 7
Fr William F McCarron, Division 3
Fr Daniel L Rey, Engine 18
Fr Bernard A Tepper, Engine 18

If you want to be technical, then the 23rd Street Collapse is the worst fire to have happened to the department excluding the terrorist attacks of 11 September. The firefighters killed in the collapse on 6 East 23rd Street did not know they were operating directly over the cellar fire in 7 East 22 St. The five inch concrete terrazzo floor acted as an insulator. It concealed the severe fire and heat below. The 3 inch x 14 inch floor beams spaced 16 inches on center were reduced in size and strength by the fire. The first sign of weakness was the sudden collapse of a 15 x 35 foot section, which plunged the ten firefighters to their deaths. Two other firefighters were killed on the first floor by a ball of flame.

So instead of “RIP” and “RFB” how about taking a look of at least one taxpayer, strip-mall and other similar structure with a basement in your first-due area or battalion and ask yourself the following:

1. What type of floor construction are we dealing with?

2. What is the fuel load?

3. What are the indicators of a floor collapse?

4. When was the last time we practiced a mayday for members missing in a collapse?

References
“Retired FDNY Capt. determined to remember fallen Bravest”, Daily News 2009
“50 Ways Firefighters Die”, Vincent Dunn
“Collapse of Burning Buildings”, Dunn
“Safety and Survival on the Fireground”, Dunn
“Collapse Search and Rescue Plan”, Dunn
“Cellar Fires”, Dunn
Worksheet: “Taxpayer Fires”, Dunn
Worksheet: “Cellar Fires”, Dunn

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Backstep Firefighter

β€œTo provide a point of critical thought about certain acts and events in the fire service while incorporating behavioral education and commentary in a referenced format.”
Comments
Burton Clark
Rhetorical Lesson No.12: Would Fewer Basics Work in Reducing Our LODDs?
All we need is one lesson with two parts. Follow all the S.O.Ps 100% correct, 100% of the time. Reason, anything less can get you and others killed. It also makes you a professional and defines a good firefighter.
2014-08-29 13:43:35
John Pignataro
Women and Children First by Dave LeBlanc
Bravo sir ...This battle began in the early 1990's having been a career DC Fireman for 30 yrs and a still active volunteer fireman for 37 the mentality has changed since 1977. Your article is clear and to the point but I am afraid the fire service maybe lost to the folks who preach the…
2014-08-23 01:12:28
Ben Waller
Women and Children First by Dave LeBlanc
Actually, the "Women and children first" idea cane from the sinking if the HMS Birkenhead. Now known as "The Birkenhead Drill", this stemmed from the ship beginning to sink, an inadequate number of lifeboats, and the Royal Marines and soldiers on board being called to formation and standing in ranks while the ships crew put…
2014-08-21 11:25:14
Ron Ayotte
Women and Children First by Dave LeBlanc
Bing-freaking-o!
2014-08-21 02:49:30
Brian Gary
Women and Children First by Dave LeBlanc
Very well written. I couldn't agree more with your statements. The problems are many, but they perpetuate and increase with every new class of recruits that are poisoned with the idea that anyone who feels unsafe has a responsibility to act and stop whatever is going on. When I came on, my instructors told me…
2014-08-21 02:04:23
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