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LayTheLine

FDNY All Hands

20 posts in this topic

I was looking through the FDNY vital stats and something caught my attention I never gave much thought to. According to the site, Serious Incidents are classified as All-Hands or greater. It then defines All-Hands as any incident where four primary units are used to control an incident. So the following scenario would be classified as an All-Hands and would be reflected in the year-end stats:

 

MVA on a highway. 2 & 2 with a Battalion are dispatched. The Battalion arrives and reports a 3 car MVA with one car on its roof but no entrapment. He advises there are 7 patients (1 Red & 6 Yellow). He requests all unis to continue in & to update EMS. 

 

His next report advises that the engines are assisting EMS and the trucks are securing the cars & cleaning up a minor fluids spill.

 

His final report is that he's going to drop it down to a 10-18 for E207 & L110, other units are in process, the 31 is 10-8. 

 

Am I correct that this is an All-Hands and will count toward the serious incidents in the end of year totals?

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I don't think so. The 2 and 2 with the battalion is normal for highway boxes.  They send an engine and truck in each direction.  Whatever companies come upon the accident first will handle 

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Thanks guys, glad I asked the question and it doesn't sound like either one of you is 100% sure. The other night Manhattan had a large water main break and a sink whole was opening up. Smell of gas developed. They never stretched a line (they had too much water!!!) They were checking all surrounding properties for gas & electric. The battalion delared "using all hands" and the dispatcher dropped a tone and announced the all-hands in Manhattan. 

 

Can anyone else add their 2 cents? Does fire need to be involved to add a number to the All-Hands total for the year. I realize this is only a "bookkeeping" question, but I am curious!

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At a fire call, the transmission of "all-hands" results in the addition of a rescue company and squad company to the box.  They may or may not be assigned on transmission of a 10-75.  It also serves as a heads-up that everyone is working for incoming resources or those that may be "next" due.

 

At a non-fire, it simply indicates that everyone is engaged in some capacity.  I believe, and it has been many years since dealing with it, on non-fires it is simply informational.

 

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Just as a point of interest.

 

Last month, August, 2016, the FDNY had (Unofficially) 166 All Hands Fires. Fires ONLY. This Excludes any all hands operating for things such as Haz Mat incidents, MVAs, Water Rescue, Confined Space Rescue etc.

 

  In addition City Wide there were:

   8 - Second Alarms

   2 - Third Alarms

   1 - 4th Alarm

   1 - 5th Alarm

   1 - 6th Alarm

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36 minutes ago, nfd2004 said:

Just as a point of interest.

 

Last month, August, 2016, the FDNY had (Unofficially) 166 All Hands Fires. Fires ONLY. This Excludes any all hands operating for things such as Haz Mat incidents, MVAs, Water Rescue, Confined Space Rescue etc.

 

  In addition City Wide there were:

   8 - Second Alarms

   2 - Third Alarms

   1 - 4th Alarm

   1 - 5th Alarm

   1 - 6th Alarm

 

 

That's more fire load than most places will see in a decade (or longer) and that was just one month!  Crazy.

 

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Yes, very impressive. But let's go back to the 1970s. The time is referred to as "The FDNY War Years". No other place in the world has seen more fires on a daily basis than the FDNY.

 

 I believe the busiest month for MULTIPLE ALARM FIRES was August, 1977 (according to a newsletter from the Fire Bell Club). During that time, the FDNY had a TOTAL of 100 Multiple Alarm Fires. The numbers of fires were staggering at the time.

 

 In addition, I recently had the honor of meeting the Captain of Engine 82 during the time when a famous book came out called "Report from Engine Co 82". According to this former captain, now retired chief, Engine Co 82 responded to 210 working building fires just in July, 1975. That's a rate of seven working fires every day of the month. In fact, it's more than the Entire City had for the previous month of August, 2016.

 

  This now retired FDNY Chief is 79 years old. Still loves the job but as he says "It was the Best and the Worst of times". Many civilians and firefighters were hurt and many lost their lives. In the South Bronx where Engine 82 was, along with many other large areas of the city, it looked much like a bomb had been dropped on it. All because so many buildings were burned out from the huge number of fires.

 

  I spent many days down there buffing and watching these guys work. What I saw was Unbelievable and I will never forget it. I once brought a few buddies down there with me. In only a few square miles we saw 11 working fires that day. Of course there were many more throughout the city as well. But after spending about 12-14 hours there it was time to leave. As we left the Bronx, one of the guys told me, "it was like they opened the gates and let us out".

 

  Today I have many friends who are retired members of the FDNY during that time. I still can't believe the amount of work these guys caught. I refer to them as "The Greatest Generation of Firefighters". You can check out www.nycfire.net in the history section for more details. The thread "My Younger Buff Years", is one of them.

 

  And here's a few pictures from another good friend who had permission to ride with a few Harlem companies back in the 1980s.  www.fdnysbravest.com

Edited by nfd2004
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9 hours ago, nfd2004 said:

Yes, very impressive. But let's go back to the 1970s. The time is referred to as "The FDNY War Years". No other place in the world has seen more fires on a daily basis than the FDNY.

 

 I believe the busiest month for MULTIPLE ALARM FIRES was August, 1977 (according to a newsletter from the Fire Bell Club). During that time, the FDNY had a TOTAL of 100 Multiple Alarm Fires. The numbers of fires were staggering at the time.

 

 In addition, I recently had the honor of meeting the Captain of Engine 82 during the time when a famous book came out called "Report from Engine Co 82". According to this former captain, now retired chief, Engine Co 82 responded to 210 working building fires just in July, 1975. That's a rate of seven working fires every day of the month. In fact, it's more than the Entire City had for the previous month of August, 2016.

 

  This now retired FDNY Chief is 79 years old. Still loves the job but as he says "It was the Best and the Worst of times". Many civilians and firefighters were hurt and many lost their lives. In the South Bronx where Engine 82 was, along with many other large areas of the city, it looked much like a bomb had been dropped on it. All because so many buildings were burned out from the huge number of fires.

 

  I spent many days down there buffing and watching these guys work. What I saw was Unbelievable and I will never forget it. I once brought a few buddies down there with me. In only a few square miles we saw 11 working fires that day. Of course there were many more throughout the city as well. But after spending about 12-14 hours there it was time to leave. As we left the Bronx, one of the guys told me, "it was like they opened the gates and let us out".

 

  Today I have many friends who are retired members of the FDNY during that time. I still can't believe the amount of work these guys caught. I refer to them as "The Greatest Generation of Firefighters". You can check out www.nycfire.net in the history section for more details. The thread "My Younger Buff Years", is one of them.

 

  And here's a few pictures from another good friend who had permission to ride with a few Harlem companies back in the 1980s.  www.fdnysbravest.com

 

My brother-in-law's father was in 82 Engine in those days with Dennis Smith. I would have loved to hear his stories, but he has passed.

My brother-in-law keeps his helmet on display in their house to this day. If only that helmet could tell stories.

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Here is a documentary made in 1972 about Engine Co 82. It's about 50 minutes long so grab yourself a cool one or perhaps a cup of tea. This is how it was. And it wasn't just this one area of the Bronx either.

 

Of course the Safety Officers will go "nuts" when they see this one. But these guys were the most experienced firefighters in the entire world. After most of 82s area was burned out, Bronx companies in the West Bronx started to increase their load dramatically, almost over night.

 

 So just sit back and watch. I'm sure you will be amazed if you haven't seen this before.

 

 www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygF3NJvy3bY (Sorry link is not working - but go to youtube and type in "The Bronx is Burning")

Edited by nfd2004
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27 minutes ago, nfd2004 said:

Here is a documentary made in 1972 about Engine Co 82. It's about 50 minutes long so grab yourself a cool one or perhaps a cup of tea. This is how it was. And it wasn't just this one area of the Bronx either.

 

Of course the Safety Officers will go "nuts" when they see this one. But these guys were the most experienced firefighters in the entire world. After most of 82s area was burned out, Bronx companies in the West Bronx started to increase their load dramatically, almost over night.

 

 So just sit back and watch. I'm sure you will be amazed if you haven't seen this before.

 

 www.youtube.com/watch?v=ygF3NJvy3bY (Sorry link is not working - but go to youtube and type in "The Bronx is Burning")

Here ya go Brother, this link seems to be working:

 

Edited by bad box
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After you watch "The Bronx Is Burning", check out some of this audio from July 4th, 1990 F.D.N.Y. style. Thank you to R1 SmokeEater for making these great memories available. I'll never stop missing this action, the job and the GREAT guys I worked with. Firefighting truly is "The greatest job on earth"... 

 

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Thanks Garrett, aka "Bad Box", for posting that. What a world it was, huh !!!

 

I remember buffing and setting priorities on which fire I went to. Sometimes rigs would pass by one job, on the way to another.

 

And those Fourth of July's were something else. If I had to work, I always put in for the time off. I would gladly work a Christmas, New Years, or whatever. Just let me be off the 4th of July for a trip to the Bronx.  It sounded like being in the middle of a war zone with all the fireworks, M-80s. Rockets going across the street from both sides. Many landing on the roofs of those buildings. We had to keep all the windows up in the car so none would get in as we rode by.

 

 

 

 

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 A once very popular weekly TV series called "Rescue 911" actually did a story on one of the very busy Fourth of July nights.

 

This is it. Its a little tough to see at times but I think you get the point of how it was. Also in this video is the late Chief William Feehan (seen around the 4:40 mark), who was sadly one of the 343 Firefighters murdered on September 11, 2001.

 

Lets try it. Hope it works.

 

 www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkufguWIExY

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16 hours ago, bad box said:

Here ya go Brother, this link seems to be working:

 

 

 

Just finished watching this in its entirety.

 

What an outstanding documentary! Not just for the fire aspect, but for the views and insight of the firemen. They talk of society and the poverty and what they deal with. 

They talk of people calling the fire department because they know they'll show up. That still rings true today. 

Toward the end, the BC states that the FD is the only service that you couldn't go without. He also states that you couldn't just bring in volunteer companies because there's not enough of them.

Again, outstanding documentary, thank you gentlemen for sharing.

 

I do have a question regarding staffing levels in those days. There were literally men hanging off the rigs. It seemed like the truck had between 6 and 8 men, with the engine not far behind.

Anyone know what the staffing was?

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Back in the early 70's, the ghetto area companies (Harlem;south Bronx; Bed-Sty;Brownsville,etc) had manning as follows: the engine companies had 6 firefighters and an officer- but the city tried an experiment with "Rapid water engines", which had a slurry tank on top of the booster tank that added a "friction-reducing additive" to water being pumped out the 1-3/4" line. If the RW system was in-service, the manning was reduced to 5 firefighters (money-saving idea). But the only way to know if the system was operational was the "green light" on the pump panel. The brothers would (at times) unscrew the light bulb so it didn't show green. Hence the Battalion chief would hire the 6th firefighter back until the "shops" checked out the system. We really did need that 6th man, as we would routinely have "fire out the windows" at least once every tour, and the SCBA's were not readily available. The ladder companies ("trucks" had the standard 5 firefighters and an officer, EXCEPT- in certain high activity areas we had "adaptive response trucks". From 1500 hrs- 2400 hrs the dispatchers would send one truck instead of the standard two trucks (on a pulled street box ), but the AR truck would have 7 firefighters. The 2 "extra firefighters would act as the 2nd due truck, searching the floor above. On a phone alarm the dispatchers would send 2 trucks anyway, so the idea was not kept for long. In 1975 when thousands of us were laid-off in the NYC fiscal crisis, all these "ideas" and pilot programs went away. There were also "TCU " trucks that were operational from afternoon to after midnight, and also second section engines . Crazy times, but it was the greatest time to be a firefighter in the greatest city and the greatest dept in the world. I remember many tours where the Bronx dispatcher would plead for any available company to "free up for a working fire". There were several times where the deputy chief would order us on the dept radio to leave our hose in the street as we were "taking up" and respond to another job. Sometimes I feel that I know how Lou Gehrig of the NY Yankees felt, when he said how blessed he was to be able to "be on the team".

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"lt411", if you ever saw a white kid wearing shorts showing some chubby legs, carrying a scanner in one hand and a camera in the other, that was probably me. I remember the TCUs and the budget crisis in which they closed 50 companies and laid off 300 firefighters. I spent most of my Bronx buff time first hanging out around 82/31. Then after the place slowed down it started to pick up more to the West Bronx and 92/44 was a favorite area too. Also Eng 41 (now Sqd 41), 48/56, and 75/33. Spent many nights at the McDonalds on Webster Ave near 170th St.

 

  I sure learned a lot from watching you guys operate.

 

  How about the night of the World Series being played at Yankee stadium (1976/77 - ?) when the cameras would focus on a 4th alarm school fire and the late Howard Cowsell told the entire country, "Ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning".

 

  Two presidents, both Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter, walked among the burned out shells on Charlotte St promising aid to rebuild the Bronx. It didn't happen right away but Charlotte St is now a block of single family raised ranch houses with yards and white picket fences. From an entire block of five and six story burned out brick apartment buildings.

 

  At one time on Simpson St, the only building in the entire block that wasn't burnt out was the 41st Police Pct.

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16fire5 called it in his post.
The term "All Hands" (officially a Signal 7-5) usually is transmitted after a 10-75 has been requested.
A 10-75 is not only for fire. It can be used for any response. It is simply a resource request, not meaning working fire, although that is the most common usage.
It is simply a request for the following: 

(copied from the NYFD.com site)

 

"A notification signal transmitted when, in the judgment of the officer in command, conditions indicate a fire or emergency that requires a total response of the following units: 4 Engines, 2 Ladders, 2 Battalion Chiefs, 1 Rescue Company and Squad Company. Officers transmitting a 10-75 shall also state if it is for a fire or emergency and if a building is involved along with the type of building."


If these units respond and all are put to work, then the Signal 7-5 is transmitted.
Although, the term you would hear on the radio would be "All Hands" are operating.
If the 10-75 is given and as an example, in the end, only 2 engines and 2 trucks are "put to work", the "All Hands" designation would not be used.

Edited by 10512
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Speaking for myself, as a young career firefighter and a guy who wanted to learn, the FDNY was the place to be. The timing was perfect. It was the busiest time in the history of the fire service and it wasn't necessary for me to take an airline flight into the city. Less than a tank of gas and I was set for the entire day.

 

No place offered so much when it came to learning the job. Every time I made the trip, I always came back with a new experience. I would make that trip just about every week. At one point I was so "hooked", I was visiting the place twice a week making my 120 mile trip. Just hang around a bit and before long there was some action to see.

 

The action was across the board. A brush fire with helicopter water drops, some serious MVAs, and fires of every kind. From row frames to 2 1/2 frames, high rises to car fires, and everything in between.

 

I would attend classes given every three months at the FDNY Fire Academy by speakers from the FDNY. Put on for a $25.00 donation they collected which went to the NYC Burn Center. That was run by the late Lt Jim Curran, a highly decorated member of FDNYs Rescue 1. Among the GREAT speakers were Chief Ray Downy and Lt Andy Fredricks who we lost on 9/11. Chief Salka was a regular from Batt 18. I also got their Training Manuals and publications, reading them, cover to cover.

 

 I am here to say that my days/nights following the FDNY taught me much more than any book or class room that I attended. I attended many, but no offense, "it just wasn't the same".

 

Today, at age 67, and after following the FDNY for almost 50 years, I am here to tell you that there is no place in the world like it if you want to learn. The guys treated me great too, and I thank them for that.

 

 My only regret I have is the time I brought down a young firefighter from a small dept. He started telling them "how much work "he" is catching and how to fight fires".  We had been talking outside of a very busy Bronx firehouse with a few of the members. I could see things were not going good. They then asked him if, "you have buildings like that across from your firehouse" (as they pointed to almost an entire block of burned out buildings). It was a quick good bye, then the guys went in and the doors came down. And I never brought him down again.

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