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News Archive» December 2001

12/31/01 Happy New Year

     I haven't mentioned it in the news, but I have been on a family vacation in Spring Hill, Florida since the 17th of December. I thought I would report on an incident that occured while I was here in Florida.

     Initially, on Friday, December 28, 2001, it was thought to be a terrorist act. Actually, the driver of a tanker carrying 8,700 gallons of gasoline was speeding in a 25 mph posted turn and rolled his truck into a concrete wall on the Independence Pky in Tampa, Florida, under the Veterans Expy overpass alongside Tampa International Airport. The overpass did not collapse, but all 8 of the support beams received damage, 3 were damaged severely with concrete spalling and exposed rebar weakened by the intense heat. Thousands were stuck in gridlock during rush hour traffic and airplanes were rerouted to an alternate runway that was clear of the heavy smoke. The driver escaped uninjured and received only a $90 ticket. The overpass is expected to be out of service for weeks. Hillsborough County Fire Rescue, Tampa Fire Rescue, and Tampa Airport Fire were credited with a quick response that kept the situation from becoming worse.

     While we were here in Florida, we visited the Magic Kingdom. I added the armpatch for Engine 71 of Mickey's Fire Department along with 3 new armpatches from Tom Ridge (retired NYPD) to the Armpatch photo gallery.

     One more thing. In closing out the year, I would like to thank everyone who has contributed to the success of this website. It has been a wonderful 13 months and I plan on continuing this, my new passion.

Stay Safe
Shawn McDonald

12/31/01 Line of Duty Death - Spring Branch, TX

Line of Duty Death      Our condolences to the Butler family and the Spring Branch, Texas, Volunteer Fire Department. FireFighter David Butler, 43, a veteran of the Spring Branch Volunteer Fire Department died Monday, December 24, 2001. David was responding to a structure fire when he suffered a heart attack. His battalion truck left the roadway several times over more than a half-mile stretch eventually coming to a rest after striking trees and rocks on the southbound side of the Guadalupe River. David was flown to a nearby hospital in critical condition where he expired shortly thereafter.

     For more news, information, and photos, please visit the David Butler Memorial in the Fallen Brothers Section.

12/28/01 Photo Galleries Updated

     Robert Miller from Jefferson City, Tennessee sent me another submission for the Helmet Shield photo gallery, Lt. Jesse Merritt's shield from Jefferson City FD, TN.
     I added 6 more photos submitted by Pat Maloney, WFD to the Holiday Oversight Meeting & Silent Protest photo gallery.
     I also added another armpatch to the Armpatch photo gallery from the Spring FD, Texas.

12/26/01 Photo Gallery Updated

     I added Jerry Buner's new photos to his gallery. Now 53 photos. Nice job Jerry. If some of you have not seen his gallery, Jerry is from Orange County, New York, and regularly submits his photos. The latest are some working fire photos and some station and apparatus photos. You can see them in the Jerry Buner photo gallery.

12/24/01 Photo Galleries Updated

     I started a new gallery for helmets. Elac Aviles, Truck 1, Waterbury FD, had me take 2 photos of his leather helmet, which he had airbrushed. It has an image of a dragon, a female warrior, the New York skyline, and the American and Puerto Rican flags. You can see the photos in the Helmet photo gallery.
     Robert Miller from Jefferson City, Tennessee sent me a submission for the Helmet Shield photo gallery.
     I also added 2 more armpatches to the Armpatch photo gallery, now up to 327 armpatches!
     An anonymous comedian from Engine 6, Waterbury FD, sent me a joke for our pal Johhny Cal. You can check it out in the FireHouse Funnies.
     Jerry Buner also sent me some more photos for his gallery, but I will have to post them another day.

12/22/01 Line of Duty Death - Somerton, AZ

Line of Duty Death      Our condolences to the Thomas family and the Somerton/Cocopah, Arizona, Fire Department. Assistant Chief Darell Thomas, 48, a 20 year veteran of the Somerton/Cocopah Fire Department died Saturday, December 15, 2001. Darrell was filling the 500 gallon water tank on his brush truck from a hydrant on the West Cocopah Reservation when he suffered an apparent heart attack.

     For more news, information, and photos, please visit the Darrell Thomas Memorial in the Fallen Brothers Section.

12/20/01 Waterbury FD Promotions

     The Waterbury Fire Department made promotions this week and Joe Bochicchio was kind enough to send me some photos.
     Daryl Scopino was promoted to Assistant Fire Marshal. Daniel Aybar was promoted to Deputy Fire Marshal. Edward Yezierski and David Stankus were promoted to Deputy Chief. Richard Hart and John Brett McAllister were promoted to Battalion Chief. Kenneth Tamborra, Gene Fappiano, Javier Lopez, James Peplau, Joseph Pizzuto, Dickie Murchison Jr., and Steven Veneziano were promoted to Captain. Joseph Bochicchio, Anthony Cuomo, Micheal Bergin, Micheal Fitzgerald, John Keane, Daniel Chieffo, and Bryan DeAngelo were promoted to Lieutenant.
     There are 3 photos of the promotions in the Joe Bochicchio photo gallery.

12/19/01 Line of Duty Death - Elk Creek, CO

Line of Duty Death      Our condolences to the Vance family and the Elk Creek, Colorado, Volunteer Fire Department. FireFighter Ralph Vance, 68, a 32 year veteran with the Elk Creek Volunteer Fire Department, died Friday, December 14, 2001. Ralph was alone driving a 2500 gallon tanker while responding to a chimney fire when he failed to negotiate a turn and rolled the tanker down a 100 foot embankment. He was airlifted to St. Anthony Central Hospital in Denver where he later succumbed to his injuries.

     For more news, information, and photos, please visit the Ralph Vance Memorial in the Fallen Brothers Section.

12/16/01 Waterbury Structure Fire Photos

     Busy busy busy. Another WFD structure fire. This one was contained to a couple rooms and some attic extension. It also appeared to be accidental. One photo was added to the WFD Press photo gallery.

12/15/01 Waterbury Structure Fire Photos

     Now that the new assessments are out, WFD is very busy. Another structure fire on Thursday. Only the first floor was occupied and the man escaped unscathed. This is the second major fire in two weeks and is under investigation. Two photos were added to the WFD Press photo gallery.

12/14/01 Silent Protest at Rowland Visit

     About 80 members marched from the Union Offices to the ground-breaking ceremony at the soon to be new UConn campus. Waterbury politicians and Governor John Rowland were in attendance. Local 1339 stood in formation as a 'silent protest'. Waterbury firefighter Pat Maloney and UConn employee Vic Shiavi sent me photos of the protest. 12 photos were added to the Holiday Oversight Meeting & Silent Protest photo gallery.

12/12/01 Holiday Pay Oversight Meeting

     85 members of the Local 1339 gathered at the Union Offices, the Oversight Board Meeting, and a press conference held outside the Rowland Center yesterday. A mistake made by a oversight staffer included unapproved reductions in holiday pay for all holidays worked this year prior to December. The oversight board is not budging on this error.
     There are 5 photos from the meeting in the Holiday Oversight Meeting photo gallery.

     "It's very evident now that Marc Ryan and this panel wants a fight, and we'll accommodate them," Peter Carozza, President, Local 1339.

12/10/01 Attention WFD Members

     All members are requested to attend the meeting of the oversight board Tuesday, December 11, 2001. The oversight will be addressing the holiday pay issue. Members are to meet at the Union Offices at the Elton Hotel for 2PM. There will be a short meeting at the Union Offices accompanied by a handout, followed by a trek across the Green to the meeting, which will be held in the Rowland Building.

     The Local 1339 Christmas party will take place after the meeting from 1500-1900 hours at the Union Offices in the Elton Hotel.

12/8/01 Meriden 2 Alarm Rescue

     Ryan Dunn, of the Meriden, CT Fire Department sent me 4 photos of a 2 alarm blaze on Thursday, December 6, 2001. Truck 1 rescued an elderly woman from the first floor. I created a photo gallery for Ryan. View the photos in the Ryan Dunn photo gallery.

12/6/01 Tanker Auction

     I was contacted by Don VandenBosch from the Grand Junction FD of Milwaukee. They are auctioning off a 1984 Ford 800 Tanker at Yahoo! Well here is your picture and plug Don. If you are interested in more details or purchasing this tanker, click here. The auction ends December 13, 2001. I may even begin a page on the website if I receive more requests like this.

12/3/01 Attention WFD Members

     There will be 2 meetings to explain the new health benefits (conducted by Pension and Benefits), which will go into effect in February. They will be held at Crosby High School on December 12, 2001, 1500 hours and 1830 hours. Members are invited to bring their spouses, so that they may also hear the explanation and ask questions.

     The monthly December meeting of Local 1339 will be Thursday, December 13, 2001, 1900 hours at Northside station.

     The Local 1339 Christmas party will be Tuesday, December 11, 2001, from 1500-1900 hours at the Union Offices in the Elton Hotel.

12/2/01 El Heapo Humungo Fuego

     El heapo humungo fuego at 381 Willow Street on Saturday. A vacant 4-story multi-family home burned for 5 hours yesterday before Waterbury FireFighters brought it under control. Two fellow firefighters sent me photos from the scene. Off duty firefighters Elac Aviles sent me 20 photos and Pat Maloney sent me 15. View their photos in the Elac Aviles photo gallery and the Pat Maloney photo gallery.

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