Welcome to EMTBravo.com

Register now to gain access to all of our features. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to contribute to this site by submitting your own content or replying to existing content. You'll be able to customize your profile, receive reputation points as a reward for submitting content, while also communicating with other members via your own private inbox, plus much more!

This message will be removed once you have signed in.


  • Content count

  • Joined

  • Last visited

About shipwright

  • Birthday 04/01/1961

My Web Presence

  • Website URL http://

Profile Information

  • Name: Philip Erwin
  • Location San Francisco, CA
  • Gender Male
  • Primary Sector You Work In Unspecified
  • Your Primary Role Chief
  • Agency National Park Service

Recent Profile Visitors

5,803 profile views
  1. http://www.iamnotastalker.com/2010/02/12/the-firehouse-from-ghostbusters/ L.A.
  2. Utube audio of initial dispatch of SFFD to airport for crash: Calm and professional. The airport is not actually in the City of San Francisco; it is San Mateo County, in South SF CA. Abundant video of the crash and emergency response shows immediate ARFF arrival at site.
  3. Being West-Coast based, and associated with this kind of suppression, beyond friends and family working the line, I found literature that looks deeper into the wild land firefighter's psyche and tactics. The question of altitude over, and substance dropped upon wilderness fires is pretty exacting; scoopers with water make sense sometimes, tankers full of retardent saves lives and property other times. But it is pretty carefully calculated regarding evaporation rate, speed, volume, and viscosity. While the philosophy supporting or denigrating the fight against wildland fire is controversial ($-v-environment), the reality is that lots of young men and women jump at the chance to do so and this implies the visceral connection between urban structural FF and wilderness wildfire FF--its good work. So, its not really my purview anymore-too old/beat up for a redcard now--but I remain interested in the folks that deploy each year. Here are three books that look into the tactics and experiences of wildland firefighting: Fire Bomber Into Hell (ISBN 978-1-60910-436-8--amazon): Good description of use of altitude and aerial tactics in wild land fire suppression (plus entire history of dropping stuff from planes onto forest fires). Fireline ( ISBN 978-0-226-14408-5--amazon): Solid sociological ethnography of Western wildland FF folks and techniques. The Author did it for real and then built his PhD on the back of the experience. Jumping Fire (ISBN 0-15-601397-5--amazon): Crazy SOB Murray Taylor who smoke jumped too long and ended up being the oldest guy to do so. Good contrast to the "Hot Shots" who are truly rugged. This guy was a dinosaur in the best sense of the word. U-Tube: Check out Interagency "Hot Shots" too. Truly gnarly folks. Smell bad. Walk you into the ground.
  4. After a nice $250,00.00 shipyard Haul Out you've got a good boat. Wish I had the bucks for these old girls.
  5. I read a book. Report from Engine Company 82. It's 1973. I MUST do this work! !974: My family moves into a tumbled down home in Southern Connecticut--I am 13 years old. Living next door is a man--Dan B.--who was born in the house next door. A multigenerational part of this very old community. Dan had red car with blue lights and, in our neighborhood when the horns went off and cars sped off, Dan B. was racing out of his driveway as well. Dan, a plank holder to colonial days in our town, had wanted to be "nothing more" than a firefighter. He was a volunteer back in the day when the department was 90% volunteer. His Dad, a lawyer--and a man of reputation in our town--forced Dan B. to go to law school down South. "Firefighting is a Bum's work," his father said. Dan B. did as ordered. He became a lawyer. And an alcoholic. When Dan B. took me under his wing he was well along. He still wore a tall, crowned metal helmet and a long coat--the rest of the department had gone to fiberglass headgear and shorter coats. But, the men on the "job" still "put up with" Dan B. As a young kid, when my scanner went off, I was out the door and riding along with Dan to fire after fire. Summer vacations, all hours of the night--tailgating the other guys from the block--and the town's apparatus to fire after fire. Sometimes I'd wait--not often--at the end of our communal driveways and the red car would stay cold and dark. Dan was too drunk to go. But it wasn't too often. I shudder to think what folks would think now, but that was a long time ago, and things were very, very different. Because of him I: Rode for the first time on an engine at thirteen years old (1949 American La France 750 gpm to a gas leak) Got into exploring. Got into Internship through my High School and spent 3 days per week and fours hours per day at HQ learning the trade: 9th-12th grade. Got into EMS. Got my EMT at 17. Became an NYC*EMS Paramedic. Fought Fire on the West Coast. Got a degree. Left the Emergency Services. Created a great life. Serve my community and our country to this day. Because of this fireman's acceptance of a little kid in big boots and an ill-fitting hat (which he GAVE me), I learned the most important lesson of all: Follow your dreams. They are true. Dan B. did not do that and died many years later an alcoholic man with simple dreams that were left utterly unfulfilled. His life was a train wreck because he didn't listen to his own inner voice. He was kind enough to give me what he had. He didn't treat me like a "kid." He gave me a subscription to¨Fire Engineering Magazine" each year at Christmas. Dead now. Bad and lonely death. My mentor--not the one mentioned on job applications--is this man of lost dreams who gave me mine. Follow your passions.
  6. The show is balderdash. Rubbish. What a shame to involve a department trying to sort out EMS and Fire in such fantastic and foolish hyperbole. There is no roving hero helicopter in SF. YUCK! I am insulted by the hollywood shills and pimps once more.
  7. From ancient NYC*EMS CPR Cash, purse, and rings.
  8. Very, very nice. Awesome archive.
  9. I worked for NYC*EMS from '80 to '88. Conditions were deplorable. My first station was in the sub-basement and garbage zone of a semi-defunct nursing hospital on the lower east side called Gouveneur (station11). Some guys used to bring air pistols to the station to shoot the rats that ate the dirty adult diapers that were in festering heaps against the locker room's outer walls. The pay, too, was dismal. I made 14k the first year I was there hauling bums and junkies of the Bowery. We were just emerging from the "old days" of pre-EMS ambulance systems. At Gouveneur we still had a couple of Techs and MVO's. Techs wore all white and provided patient care. MVO's wore blue, drove the bus and offered no patient care except to carry the stair chair. The busses were amazing! I had come out of Stamford Ambulance Corps unit 99 (imaculate, up to date modulance) to work in NYC. The Grumman busses were simply a Ford f-350 frame with a rivetted aluminum box on the back. Some ahd a small set of shelves with doors above the stretcher. No external compartments. Your gear went on the floor in back. The only straight sheet metal on the unit was where your arm hung out the window--otherwise they were one giant dent. Our position in the city hierarchy was clear (Ed Kotch made sure we and our lousy union knew it) There were THREE emergency services in NYC: Police, Fire, and Sanitiation. Were were a municipal courtesy. One of our former union presidential hopefulls (and resident loudmouth shop stewards) quit to go to sanitation because the pay was better, the benifits were better, the retirement was possible to achieve, and the garbage he carried wouldn't piss and puke on him. BUT! It was the "wild west." You got into your bus, drove to your police precenct (for us the 1, 5, 7, or 9 houses) and signed out a police radio with the desk officer--we didn't have functioning portable radios. You drove around, went to calls 8, 10, 15 in 8 hours on busy nights. If you heard a shooting, man under, jumper up or some other toothsome job come over PD, you'd tell your dispatch board and pick the job up. Other busses would try to cut in on you by saying they were closer and race was on! At 8 o:clock most nights few RMP's or busses didn't have a Budweiser tall boy or two going. Otherwise, you parked on a corner and hung out or met up with other units. We ususally parked at St. Marks Place by the Jem Spa--sometimes three or four busses including the Cabrini units. It was really up to the individual to decide what kind of EMT or medic they would be in the old system. You could slide out of jobs, turn off your radio, and party. Or, you could get an enormous amount of street action, get paid to go to medic school (I went to Jacoby three weeks after totalling my bus in a head on collision with a 7th pct. RMP going to a shoot-out). What is most odd--to me--about the NYC*EMS FDNY merger is that the old EMS was more of a NYPD affiliate. We ran on borrowed NYPD radios, patrolled with no station to rest in, did rescue almost exclusively with NYPD ESU and we all LOATHED FDNY. Back then, they were REALLY hard to work with! EMS medics and cops kind of operated in small, independant units made up of two partners. When FDNY (AKA "Rubba") showed up they their "Loo" would completely ignore the EMS crew and break a bunch of stuff and panic. They could really fight fires, but NEVER ask Rubba to help ventilate a patient--"Chest's open, LOO!" No insult intended to anyone on this, just my recollection of the old and VERY territorial days. I wouldn't trade those days for anything.
  10. Hi. My name is Phil. I feel compelled to introduce myself for several reasons. First, I have finally gotten around to getting verified--it took me a couple of years. Second, and the real reason I feel it important to say hello is that I have been one of the "lurkers" out in the mist: reading and enjoying the site very much, but offering nothing in the way of actual participation. My EMS and Firefighting careers are behind me now--I am a traditional Shipwright and work in San Francisco for the National Park Service building and restoring historic wooden ships and other vessels. I ran into EMT Bravo because, having left the EMS business some 15 years ago after twenty years of focussed involvement, I have remained very interested in all things emergency and was searching for info on some of my past departments. I started in Westport CT as a vol. FF in the early mid-70's, did the explorer thing in Norwalk, volunteered with Stamford Ambulance Corps all through high school and beyond. I worked as a Medic for NYC*EMS for almost all of the 80's (Gouveneur, Cony, Liberty Outpost in East NY Brooklyn, Jacoby, Lutheran Medical Center), Did 3 years with Stamford EMS Foundation (fly car days), went West to Monterey Calif, and killed off my career in Klamath Falls Oregon. I suppose I have "lurked" because I have no current information to share, but read with great interest where the emergency services have gone since I left. My first EMT Bravo name was "bell horse." That's because I am like an old fire horse jumping at the bell. My wife can't figure out how I know which SFFD apparatus are screaming by our house soley by their sound. It just doesn't go away. A BIG thank you to Seth for creating a place where some of us Ex-types can still keep a toe in the water. Anyway, just wanted to let you know one "lurkers" perspective. I visit daily because EMT Bravo and all of the men and women who contribute to the site and forum feel like distant cousins in whom I still have a vested interest. I'd like to stick around--perhaps coming in from the mist on the off chance that I have something relevent to add to the discussion. Until then, as is so often and so appropriately written here: Be safe. Phil