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The Bravest

OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF THE

UNIFORMED FIREFIGHTERS ASSOCIATION OF GREATER NEW YORK

JANUARY 2006

CONTRACT RATIFIED! President’s Message By STEPHEN J. CASSIDY

s we move ahead into 2006, we look back on what has been accomplished over the past year and what can be accomplished in the future. From the passing of important legislation to the successful negotiation of a well-deserved raise, the UFA has been working hard to advance the rights and increase the benefits of our membership. We also remember those who are no longer with us, but whose memories live on. CONTRACT In October it was announced that the UFA and City came to a tentative agreement on a contract. That tentative agreement was overwhelmingly approved by the membership on December 29th, 2005 and is now officially ratified. The 50month contract is retroactive to June of 2002 and entails a compounded 17.5% raise as well as an increase in staffing levels. The agreement calls for a $100 increase in the amount the City contributes to the Uniform Allowance and

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health benefits. All this was accomplished with minimal givebacks. After the PBA received their PERB award, many believed that the UFA would follow suit and accept what was given to the cops. Although the UFA and City were at odds during the long negotiation process, we felt that by opening the lines of communication a deal could be accomplished. The end result was a contract which not only compensates our membership financially, but allows for a 5-year extension of the Roster Staffing Agreement, increasing the amount of 5-firefighter engine companies operating throughout the City. This serves to enhance both public and firefighter safety. In total, 77% of our membership turned out to vote on the contract. The high number of members who participated and the 86% vote to approve the contract is proof that the Firefighters of this City stand united. I would like to thank everyone who participated in the ratification process. Retro checks will be sent out shortly by the City. A complete and informative breakdown on the pay schedule and 457 and 401k allowances are available on the UFA website and 65-2’s. UFA LOBBYING EFFORTS In addition to the raise, the UFA was successful in lobbying government on a number of levels. In June of 2005, as a direct result of our lobbying efforts, the Governor signed into law the World Trade Center Presumptive Bill. This piece of legislation allows for members who participated in the World Trade Center Rescue, Recovery or Clean-Up Operations to

file a notice of participation with the City in the event they become disabled as a result of their work. It extends to both active and retired members (retired members must have been active at the time(s) they participated) who participated in the operations at the WTC. UFA Vice President James Slevin has compiled an extensive and informative article in this issue on the registration criteria for the new bill, as well as requirements and background information on its benefits and importance. Our lobbying efforts also helped to oust both the International Freedom Center (IFC) and Drawing Center from the future of the planned World Trade Center Memorial. These two controversial institutions were part of the World Trade Center Memorial Foundation’s proposed site plan. Once the UFA became aware of the past exhibits by the Drawing Center and future planned exhibits of the IFC, we had no choice but to publicly withdraw support of the WTC Memorial Foundation. It was obvious that the inclusion of these two institutions in the Memorial would (Continued on page 2)

IN THIS ISSUE  WTC Presumptive Bill – What You Need To Know  The Growing Apparatus Problem  UFA Work-Chart Calendar and Parking Plaques Issued  FDNY VFW Plays Host to Vets During Marathon  UFA Holiday Party a Success


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President’s Message (Continued from page 1)

Fire Lines the New York City Fire Department lost three members at two separate incidents. Their sacrifice is an unfortunate reminder of the dangers we face on this job. Lt. Curtis Meyran, Battalion 26, and Lt. John Bellew, Ladder 27, sustained fatal injuries when they were forced to jump from a 4th floor window at 236 East 178th Street in the Bronx. They became trapped when the third-alarm fire they were battling engulfed the room in which they were operating. Meyran and Bellew were joined by Firefighters Jeff Cool, Joseph DiBernardo, Eugene Stolowski, all of Rescue 3, and Brendan Cawley of Ladder 27 in the leap to the ground below.

work to take focus away from the centerpiece of the site, the victims. We wrote letters to politicians and civic leaders at all levels of Government stating our position, compiled an informative package on the proposed plans and employed an effective public relations campaign which helped to educate and rally the public to our views on the issue. In the end, the IFC and Drawing Center withdrew themselves from the Memorial Plans. POLITICAL ACTION Not only have we accomplished much with regards to our lobbying efforts, but the UFA also made strides this General Membership Contract year in the political arena. Vote Results By Borough During the Mayoral Election we backed Congressman Anthony Weiner. Anthony has been an ardent supBorough Yes No porter of Firefighter and Public Safety and it seemed only natural that after meeting with all the Democratic canBrooklyn: 1925 152 didates for Mayor, we throw our weight behind him. Anthony credits Queens: 1427 209 the support of New York’s Firefighters with his late jump in the polls and although he did not win, he solidified Manhattan: 1229 297 himself as a frontrunner in 2009 to run for the office of Mayor. Our Political Action Committee Bronx: 1044 145 (PAC) also participated in an informal interview process to decide who we Staten Island: 469 26 would endorse for the various New York City Council races. The overwhelming majority of UFA supported Total 6094 829 candidates won their bids for election. We have worked closely with our 86% 14% Senators in identifying and supporting important legislation which benefits Meyran and Bellew were treated at the our membership. Most recently, the UFA scene before being transported to St. supported a bill introduced by Senators Barnabus Hospital where they succumbed Clinton and Schumer which restored $125 to their injuries. Cool, Dibernardo, million in federal aid to monitor health Stolowski and Cawley all suffered serious effects of our Firefighters. injuries and are making strides in their In the coming year, we will continue to rehabilitation. solidify our relationships with our elected Across town in Brooklyn, only hours officials, including the new City Council after the Bronx fire, FF Richard Sclafani Speaker Christine Quinn, as well as conof Ladder 103 lost his life in a fire as he tinue to be a strong voice at Albany and was searching for trapped victims in the City Hall. basement of a private dwelling. The secTRAGEDY ond-alarm blaze occurred at 577 Jerome The UFA also experienced loss in Avenue. He was transported to Brookdale 2005. On Sunday, January 23rd, a day Hospital where he was pronounced dead. that became known as “Black Sunday,”

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JANUARY 2006 I stood and mourned with our membership at each man’s funeral. We all know the dangers that come with this job. Each time we suffer a loss, we hope that it will be the last. However, all of us know it won’t. Our hearts and prayers go out to the families of these brave men. They will not be forgotten. HEALTH AND SAFETY The tragic fire in the Bronx highlighted an important safety issue affecting our membership. These men were forced to jump out of a window because they did not have a rope in which to repel safely. Only one of the 6 men who were in that room had a rope. This piece of equipment was not issued by the Department but rather purchased on his own. We have been an outspoken critic of the lack of safety ropes in the field and due to our diligence in this matter the Department has decided to re-issue a Personal Safety System to all members. This will help ensure that the choice faced by our brothers in the Bronx is never presented again. Bill Romaka took office in August 2005 as UFA Sergeant-at-Arms / Health and Safety Officer and has identified a number of critical issues affecting our membership. He has written a detailed story in this issue of Fire Lines regarding the Department’s policy on the procurement of new apparatus and its standards of placing spare rigs in service - an issue which has come to the forefront recently after one of our members was critically injured. In addition, Bill continuously updates the Health and Safety section of the UFA Website. This section features useful information on topics such as cancer warnings, the FDNY Medical Office and counseling, among others. Bill also issues safety messages to the field on a regular basis. These bulletins highlight and remind the membership of important FDNY regulations that should be followed. HURRICANE RESPONSE / MILITARY ACTIVATION In August 2005, we saw one of the worst natural disasters to ever strike this country when Hurricane Katrina relentlessly pounded the Gulf States. As soon as a fund was established, the UFA donated (Continued on page 3)


JANUARY 2006

President’s Message (Continued from page 2) $100,000 to the IAFF to help ease the burden on our brothers and sisters whose lives were in disarray as a result of the destruction. In addition, countless Firefighters from New York City signed up and were among the first wave of first responders to travel to the affected region in order to provide support to the people of Louisiana and Mississippi. They operated in dangerous conditions, responded to emergencies, and on their down time, helped the Firefighters of New Orleans rebuild their Firehouses and homes. As one of our members put it, “After the support we received following 9-11, it’s the least we can do.” Since the War on Terror began we have also seen more than 100 UFA members called up for active duty in the Military to help protect our homeland and serve our country overseas. Some of these individuals have been called upon to serve more than once and they do so with bravery and

Fire Lines dedication. Our hats are off to all of the UFA family who are currently serving or have served our country over the past year. COMMUNICATIONS IMPROVEMENT As we move into the second half of this decade, the UFA will be improving the way information is available and disseminated to our membership. A priority of the Executive Board is the redesigning and improvement of our website. It has been a topic of frequent conversations and we understand that the website is an invaluable tool in helping to update you with current events and important information. The revamping of our website will provide an avenue for our membership to easily acquire the extensive information that Recording Secretary Joseph Miccio has compiled. Joe has been a driving force behind the improvement of our communications and will be a key contributor and advisor in the way the UFA continues to upgrade its communications capabilities.

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Page 3 As you can see, Fire Lines has undergone a change as well. The former broadsheet style has been redesigned into this glossy newsletter. In its previous format, the paper had equal parts editorial content and advertising. We are currently issuing a newsletter which is more than 70% editorial content in order to increase the output of information to our 22,000 active and retired members. Fire Lines is also now available in its complete form for download on the UFA website. As the voice of New York’s Firefighters for more than 85 years the UFA will continue to highlight the issues that are affecting its membership. We look forward to building on last year’s accomplishments by making more strides in 2006. Fraternally,


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WTC Presumptive Bill – Requirement Overview By JAMES SLEVIN UFA Vice President/ Legislative Chairman n June 2005, Governor Pataki signed the World Trade Center (WTC) Disability Law as a direct result of the lobbying efforts of the UFA. This law permits eligible members who participated in the WTC Rescue, Recovery or Clean-Up Operations at certain locations to file a Notice of Participation with the New York Fire Department Pension Fund and a subsequent application for disability benefits should they become disabled. Any disability resulting from illnesses specified in the law will be presumed to have resulted from the performance of duty, assuming the member meets the pre-qualifying criteria discussed below. Any pension that is reclassified to a disability pension under this law will be granted prospectively after approval by the Board of Trustees of the Fire Department Pension Fund. Any active member, vested member, Service or Ordinary Disability pensioner (who vested or retired on or after 9-11-01) who participated in the WTC Rescue, Recovery or Clean-Up Operations between September 11, 2001 and September 12, 2002 should file a Notice of Participation if they meet all of the following pre-qualifying criteria: 1. Successfully passed a physical examination for entry into public service (which all firefighters have done) 2. Worked at one of the following places between September 11, 2001 and September 12, 2002: • World Trade Center Site (the World Trade Center Site is defined as anywhere below a line starting from the Hudson River and Canal Street; east on Canal Street to Pike Street; south on Pike Street to the East River; and extending to the lower tip of Manhattan) • Fresh Kills Landfill • New York City Morgue or the temporary morgue on pier locations on the West Side of Manhattan • Barges - between the West Side of Manhattan and the Fresh Kills Landfill (or in a firehouse within this zone) 3. Participated in the WTC Rescue, Recovery or Clean-up Operations for a minimum of 40 hours. If the minimum of 40 hours was not met due to a documented physical injury which is a Qualifying Condition or Impairment of Health (as defined

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below), and was incurred while working in the WTC Rescue, Recovery or Clean-Up Operations between September 11, 2001 and September 12, 2002 that prevented the member from working the minimum number of hours the member may still be eligible The “Notice of Participation in the World Trade Center Rescue, Recovery or Clean-Up Operations”form must be completed, notarized and filed with the Fire Department Pension Fund by June 14, 2007. If this form is not on file by June 14, 2007, you WILL NOT BE ELIGIBLE to file for a disability pension under this law. It is highly recommended that you send this form by Certified Mail, Return Receipt Requested, as verification of filing and keep a copy of the form for your records. If you worked for 40 hours or more at the above mentioned areas, you should file a Notice of Participation even if you are not ill. Doing so will protect your option to claim a WTC related line-of-duty injury and permit you to obtain accident disability benefits as a result. The Fire Department pension unit is in the process of verifying the registration forms. The pension unit will notify any member who they are not able to verify. These members will be given an opportunity to provide further documentation of their eligibility. This form was mailed to all members of the Department who were active on 9/11/01 and those members appointed after 9/11 but before the July 2002 probationary class. Some members who did not receive the form because they were appointed to the FDNY after this period may still qualify. If a member transferred from the NYPD, EMS or another City agency that is covered under the bill during the previously mentioned dates, they should also file this form. Verification of their eligibility will take place by their former agency. Set forth below is a list of Qualifying Conditions or Impairment of Health: • Diseases of the upper respiratory tract and mucosae, including conjunctivitis, rhinitis, sinusitis, pharyngitis, laryngitis, vocal chord disease, upper airway hyperreactivity and tracheo-bronchitis, or a combination of such conditions; or • Diseases of the lower respiratory tract, including but not limited to bronchitis, asthma, reactive airway dysfunction syndrome, and different types of pneumonitis, such as hypersensitivity, granulomatous, or

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eosinophilic; or • Diseases of the gastroesophageal tract, including esophagitis and reflux disease, either acute or chronic, caused by exposure or aggravated by exposure; or • Diseases of the psychological axis, including post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression, or any combination of such conditions; or • Diseases of the skin such as contact dermatitis or burns, either acute or chronic in nature, infectious, irritant, allergic, idiopathic or non-specific reactive in nature, caused by exposure or aggravated by exposure, or • New onset diseases resulting from exposure as such diseases may occur in the future including cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, asbestos-related disease, heavy metal poisoning, musculoskeletal disease and chronic psychological disease. Retirees who wish to file a disability application, pursuant to this law may only file one application per calendar year unless they become terminally ill. Members may request applications from (718) 999-0148 or 999-7041. Below are simple instructions for filling out the registration form: • Fill it out to the best of your recollection. Specifics are not required. • Do not be concerned with specific hours. Fill in only days or weeks that you were there. • If you did a 30-day detail just state the month and year that you participated. • Make a copy and retain it for your records. • Most importantly JUST FILL IT OUT. You may not feel sick today but you are protecting yourself for the future. Additional copies of the registration form are available on the UFA website www.ufanyc.org During the upcoming legislative session, the UFA will be looking to make some minor technical corrections and possibly expand the scope of the bill. Once again we thank everyone who helped lobby for the bill. We look forward to your participation in the upcoming legislative session. This spring we will be having another UFA lobby day in Albany. As soon as we have the date we will publish it in a 65-2. Don’t forget – without your help and support, a successful legislative program is very difficult. Get involved and encourage all members of your company to get involved.


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Flawed Process Leads to Unsafe Rigs By WILLIAM ROMAKA Sergeant-At-Arms / Health and Safety Officer n incident occurred recently which once again highlights the City’s shortcomings when it comes to the safety of our members. On Friday December 2, while safely responding to an alarm, Firefighter Joseph Moore of Ladder Company 13 was ejected from their truck as they turned onto Lexington Avenue from 85th Street. He was critically injured and immediately rushed to Cornell Medical Center where he was treated for severe head injuries. This should have never happened. The rig that was assigned to Ladder Company 13 was a spare open-cab Mack Tower Ladder, built in 1988. It was being used because their usual rig, a 2000 Seagrave, was being repaired. The open cab tower ladder violates the principles of NFPA Standard 1901. (See box at right) New York City’s Firefighters are facing a severe problem when it comes to our safety and equipment. Too often our members are forced to use outdated and dangerous apparatus because of problems with their assigned engines and trucks. Furthermore, many of our Firefighters have never been trained on these older spare rigs. As many senior Firefighters will tell you, there is an art to riding in these trucks and if you have never ridden on the back step of one, it can be very dangerous. The UFA has been a vocal opponent of the City’s slanted procurement process for obtaining new vehicles and what standards, if any, are held when it comes to spare apparatus. However, our arguments have continued to fall on deaf ears. The Department refuses to accept responsibility and instead shifts the blame to their current manufacturer, Seagrave stating that Seagrave is at fault for their lack of timely repairs. While Seagrave has made recent strides in the ability to fulfill their obligations, a bigger problem lies in the procurement process for apparatus. In October the Department hired a con-

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sultant to review Seagrave’s operations. The outcome satisfied the administration enough for them to place an order for 12 additional tower ladders. The outcome apparently did not address the procurement process. Should not the consultant’s review and report have been inclusive of the procurement process currently employed by the City? When will there be a City Administration that provides the proper resources to the Department to adequately address its safety concerns and needs? While we agree that our fleet should be of the highest standard, we find fault in the way the process excludes many qualified manufacturers. The Department turns a blind eye to some technical recommendations made by their own manufacturer, leading to problems down the road. They should be working with the manufacturer in order to put out a superior product. There are plenty of other well-respected manufacturers who would like the opportunity to build the apparatus of New York’s Bravest. We would like to see the City select more than one company to construct our engines and trucks. Currently, 98% of our fleet consists of Seagrave apparatus. A diverse fleet would allow for competition among the manufacturers and ultimately benefit the City’s budget, our firefighters and the citizens we are sworn to protect. We have called for an outside investigation into the circumstances behind the injury to FF Moore, as well as the entire procurement process and what standards are applied when placing spare apparatus in service. The conclusion of the investigation should not have the appearance of being motivated by politics. It should be reflective and inclusive of every facet of the investigative process and be guided by the principles of NFPA 1901, which governs apparatus standards and safety. On a positive note, FF Moore was released from the hospital on December 29th. We wish him a speedy recovery, and his family and his company all the best as we move ahead into the New Year.

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NFPA Standard 1901 – Key Elements 14.1.1 – Each crew riding position shall be within a fully enclosed area. 14.1.5 – All interior crew and driving compartment door handles shall be designed and installed to protect against accidental or inadvertent opening. Upgrading or Refurbishing Fire Apparatus Any apparatus, whether in first line or reserve service, should be upgraded as necessary to ensure that the following features are included as a minimum: – Fully enclosed seating is provided for all members riding on the fire apparatus. Source: NFPA 1901, Standard for Automotive Fire Apparatus, 2003 Edition


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UFA Calendar and Parking Plaques Distributed By JOSEPH MICCIO Recording Secretary he 2006 UFA WorkChart Calendar and Information Directory is currently available to all members. If you have not yet received your copy of this important and informative item, please contact your Delegate. The calendar has been formatted for easy use and contains a large amount of helpful information. In addition to the yearly work-chart, it also includes a comprehensive firehouse phone number directory as well as important phone numbers for the UFA Offices, union attorneys and more than 80 important FDNY contacts. A version of the calendar, minus the list of firehouse, UFA and FDNY phone numbers, is also available for free download on the UFA website - www.ufanyc.org. Throughout the year various UFA events and important dates are highlighted. These include Union Meetings, deadlines for 65-2 information, as well as holidays and pay dates. However, there is more than enough room for you to add any important dates you may have in the space provided. There are also a number

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of important email addresses and information throughout the calendar, providing avenues of communication to UFA offices such as the Security Benefits Fund, Prescription Drugs, Dental, Optical, and Life Insurance. The front page of the Calendar features a vintage photo taken from the UFA archives. It is a picture of Engine Company 48 outside their quarters in the Bronx with their 1947 American La France Pumper. Each year the UFA likes to highlight a different borough and this year the history of the Bronx takes center stage. On the back you will find your list of important phone numbers for you to keep handy. You will also find an easy to follow flowchart designed for you in the event you may have a problem which needs to be resolved. Many times this may happen and the member is unaware of the proper channels needed to follow in order to solve a problem. The flowchart is a perfect example of what to do and who to contact. We hope it comes in handy if the need ever arises. Lastly, I would be remiss if I did not mention that the cost of the 2006 UFA

Work-Chart Calendar and Information Directory was underwritten by the law firm of Sullivan, Block, McGrath, & Cannavo PC. This firm is not only the UFA General Counsel, but for years they have proven a great friend of New York City’s Firefighters. A sincere thank you goes out to UFA General Counsel Mike Block and his legal team for their generosity. Parking Placards The 2006 UFA Parking Placards have also been distributed to our membership. These new plaques are for “Official Use Only” and have been issued with unique identification numbers to help prevent illegal copying. Any unauthorized persons found to be using these placards will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law by the UFA. They are an important identification tool and will afford our members a level of consideration by law enforcement when parking near FDNY Facilities. We distributed them at the November Union Meeting. If you have not yet received your plaque, please contact your Delegate.

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FDNY VFW Helps Vets Cruise in Marathon By EDWARD BROWN Bronx Trustee mong the thousands of athletes who took part in this year’s New York City Marathon there was a special group of military veterans who were in town as guests of the FDNY VFW, Staff Sergeant Christian Engeldrum Post. The dozen vets were seriously injured in combat, with many making the journey to New York from Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington D.C. They came to participate in the Marathon but were treated to a weekend of events hosted by the FDNY VFW. Marathon weekend kicked off at a presentation ceremony held on Thursday November 3, at the Sailor, Soldier, Marine and Airman (SSMA) Club in Midtown. At the event, the Vets were presented with a custom-made hand-crank bicycle which was paid for by donations collected at firehouses citywide. The bicycle was used by Army Staff Sergeant Joe Bowser during the Marathon. “To be the one chosen to represent the soldiers on the FDNY bike was an awesome feeling. I felt like I wasn’t only doing the marathon for me but for the guy’s that came back from Iraq and the ones who didn’t make it back to their loved ones,” said Bowser. “I was also riding for those who gave their lives at the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and in the field of Pennsylvania.” In April of 2004, Bowser was hit by a

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Members of the FDNY VFW present custom-made handcrank bicycle to injured veterans in town for NYC Marathon 122mm Chinese Rocket in Balad, Iraq. The injuries sustained by the attack required the amputation of his right leg. The Vets took part in a wide range of activities while in town. They visited Ground Zero and were guests at a number of firehouses throughout the City. They also attended a New York Rangers game at Madison Square Garden before taking part in the pre-race events. “All of these activities were made possible by the generosity of the firehouses who contributed to this cause. I hope this becomes another great New York City Fire Department tradition,” said Captain John Gormley of Division 6, FDNY VFW Commander. Once the race was completed, the bicy-

cle made its way down to Walter Reed Medical Center where it is currently in use as a physical therapy tool for those on the path to recovery. The Staff Sergeant Christian P. Engeldrum FDNY VFW post was formed on August 12, 2005 by active and retired members of FDNY who have previously served, or are current reservists in the Military. The Post was named for Firefighter Christian Engeldrum of Ladder Company 61. Engeldrum was killed in action while serving in the Army National Guard outside of Baghdad on November 29, 2004. More info on the FDNY VFW can be found at www.fdnyvfw.com

FIRE SAFETY DIRECTOR TRAINING COURSES AT PACE UNIVERSITY, DOWNTOWN MANHATTAN by REMS Training, Inc. Jerry Strollo, Director F.D.N.Y. Instructors Same location 12 years For more info and class schedules please Tel: 212 591-6700 or 718 670-6700 Fax: 888-802-5637 E-Mail: info@FireSafetyDirector.com

Evening and Daytime classes visit: www.FireSafetyDirector.com Mailing Address: REMS Training, Inc. 267 Sunrise Hwy. Suite 1, PMB 184 Rockville Centre, NY 11570

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JANUARY 2006

UFA HOLIDAY PARTY By JOHN KELLY Chairman, Board of Trustees he 51st Annual UFA Widows’ and Children’s Holiday party was held on Sunday November 20th at Toys “R” Us Times Square and once again it proved to be an overwhelming success. The enormous flagship store graciously opened their doors to us and provided our families with the perfect backdrop and facilities to kick-off the holiday season. The UFA Executive board was on hand to welcome the more than 300 widows and 1000 children of firefighters who have passed away, both line of duty and non-line of duty. Also attending the event was President of Toys “R” Us John Barbour and a number of special guests, including New York Mets Centerfielder Carlos Beltran and WWE Superstar Mick Foley, among others. “I would like to thank the folks at Toys “R” Us and all the volunteers here today for once again making this a very special day for our families. We look forward to this event every year,” said UFA President Steve Cassidy. “I also want to thank the staff at the UFA who works tirelessly year-round in order to make this happen. Without your dedication and hard work, this would not be possible.” In addition to Batman, the Rugrats, and

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Darth Vader, the day wouldn’t be complete without a visit from Santa Claus. This year St. Nick was escorted to Times Square in the bucket of Ladder Company 35’s Tower Ladder. He greeted guests and onlookers alike in the heart of the City before hearing Christmas wishes from the kids.

Top – Santa makes his arrival in Times Square courtesy of Ladder 35. Middle- (From L to R) UFA VP Jim Slevin, NY Mets Centerfielder Carlos Beltran, Brooklyn Trustee John Kelly and Bronx Trustee Eddie Brown at the UFA Holiday Party. Bottom – Batman takes time out from Gotham City to join two future super heroes in the festivities.

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TIGERS VISIT TROOPS By STEVE HUMENESKY Queens Trustee e have all seen and heard of the many young people who enlisted with the military to fight the War on Terror after September 11th —joining those who had served before them to defend America and our way of life—and, sadly, the casualties that have resulted. As New York City Firefighters, we understand the sacrifices of duty and appreciate what our Armed Forces do every day to serve our country. One Queens Company decided to thank them personally. On the last weekend of October, I joined 13 members of Engine Company 289 and Ladder Company 138 (the Corona Tigers) on a special trip to Walter Reed Medical Center in Washington, DC. We packed vans with hundreds of company and memorial T-shirts collected from UFA members to present to the wounded military personnel who had returned from

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duty overseas. We met with injured soldiers and officers, as well as their families in hospital rooms and the NCO Club. We even toured the rehabilitation facility to meet with some who had already begun the long road to recovery. In spite of some very serious injuries, everyone we met was astonishingly positive. I was struck by the bright outlook and energy of these courageous men and women. They all seemed happy to see us—and everyone appreciated the shirts. The members of E-289/L-138 would like to extend their thanks to everyone who donated shirts and assisted with the collection—I can assure you that your generosity made an impression. And speaking of impressions, I can honestly say that the mutual gratitude we, as firefighters and American citizens, were able to express to the soldiers, and their appreciation for what we do and the losses we have suffered was one of the most memorable and unforgettable experiences of my life.

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Compensation Accrual Fund Report for 2004 To: All Participants From: Board of Trustees Re: Annual Membership Report n compliance with Directive 12,

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Employee Benefit Funds – Uniform Reporting and Auditing Requirements, issued by the Office of the Comptroller of the City of New York, set forth below is a report of the financial condition and operations of the Fund for the fiscal year ended December 31, 2004. The Compensation Accrual Fund of the Uniformed Firefighters Association is a defined contribution pension plan that provides retirement benefits to New York City firefighters pursuant to collective bargaining agreements between the City and the Uniformed Firefighters Association of Greater New York, Local 94, I.A.F.F., AFL-CIO (the UFA). Firefighters are eligible to participate in the plan on the date they commence employment. Benefits are funded through employer contributions, which are established by the collective bargaining agreements. The value of Fund assets, after subtracting liabilities of the Fund, was $97,497,204 as of December 31, 2004, compared to $88,000,556 as of January 1, 2004. During the fiscal year the Fund experienced an increase in its net assets available for benefits of $9,496,648. Additions to the Fund totaled $15,335,007. These additions included investment income of $5,553,311, contributions of $9,588,238, and participant transfers from other funds of $193,458. Deductions from the Fund totaled $5,838,359. These deductions included benefits paid to or for participants of $5,516,807 and administrative expenses of $321,552. For additional information write to: Board of Trustees Compensation Accrual Fund of the Uniformed Firefighters Association 204 East 23rd Street, New York, NY, 10010 Or call: 212-683-4832

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Gone But Not Forgotten

JANUARY 2006

UFA FAMILY SKI DAY – NEW LOCATION The UFA Family Ski Day has moved to a new location. On January 27th we will take to the slopes of Mt. Peter in Warwick, NY. Once again the members of Engine 53 / Ladder 43 will be hosting the event which provides all day / all expense-paid skiing for the widows and children of New York’s Bravest. For more info on how to volunteer, or to register families, please call FF Dave Rowan or Louis Giaconelli at (212) 5704253.

Engine Company 30 was one of the original Engine Companies established when the paid Fire Department was created in 1865. This photo shows the members of the Company outside their quarters at 278 Spring Street, between Hudson and Varick Streets, near the Holland Tunnel in Manhattan. Engine 30’s first alarm district consisted of loft buildings, piers and warehouses which provided them with a heavy workload. They were the only Company in Fire Department history to have three (3) sections at one time. Engine Company 30 was disbanded in 1959. They may be gone, but they are not forgotten. — Herb Eysser, UFA Staff

Boxing Bravest Give To Charity By EDWARD BROWN Bronx Trustee Sports Chairman he FDNY Bravest Boxing Team recently took the gloves off and played Santa Claus for an evening. At their Annual Christmas Party, the team donated money they had raised throughout the year to a number of well-deserving charities. On December 2nd, the team celebrated at O’Neill’s in Maspeth. They raised and donated more than $15,000 in 2005. At the party the following donations were made: • $1000 to Lowes Syndrome Fund of Engine Company 59 • $1000 to the Ministry of Care and Service (Food and Clothing for the Poor) • $3000 to Angels on the Bay (Pediatric Charity) • 11 $50 gift cards to the boys at the St. Francis Home for Boys in Brooklyn All of these donations were made in

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addition to the $10,000 the team has donated to the Wounded Warrior Project during the past year. LOOKING FOR NEW MEMBERS The FDNY Boxing Team is always looking for new members with all levels of experience. They train on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at the Starret City Gym from 11AM to 1PM and one-night per week at the New York Athletic Club in Manhattan. The “Boxing Bravest” has a busy spring, with bouts scheduled against Jersey City PD & FD, Boston PD, Chicago PD & FD, and the London Metro Police and Fire Brigade. In addition, they will be facing the NYPD at the “Battle of the Badges West,” in San Diego, CA. The time for interested members to start training is now! For more info, please contact Bobby Maguire at 917-282-8727 or log on to www.fdnyboxing.com

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As part of the ongoing effort to provide the membership with the most up-to-date and accurate information, the UFA has recently set-up a new email address for Firelines. If you have a newsworthy story, upcoming event, or great photos featuring our members in action, please write to

Firelines@ufanyc.org We will monitor the email account on a regular basis to review the information coming in. Please note that not all story ideas or photos sent to the address will make it into the paper. Your input is appreciated. We look forward to


JANUARY 2006

Fire Lines

Page 11

DEDICATED TO A HERO By ROBERT STRAUB Treasurer n Friday December 2, hundreds of family, friends, firefighters and soldiers, packed the quarters of Engine 66 / Ladder 61 in the Bronx to memorialize Firefighter Christian P. Engeldrum. Engeldrum, or “Drum” as he was known, was killed in action outside of Baghdad on November 29, 2004 while serving in the Army National Guard. He was the first New York City employee killed while on active leave overseas. UFA Bronx Trustee Ed Brown spoke at the event along with a number of City officials. “Chris embodied the values and attributes of both soldier and firefighter. He was always willing to put his life on the line for the safety and well-being of others,” said Brown. “He will never be forgotten and will constantly be missed.”

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Also on hand for the dedication were Engeldrum’s wife Sharon, his two sons; Shawn and Royce, and his newborn baby girl, Kristian, named for her father. Sharon echoed the day’s sentiment, “He was a hero.” Engeldrum had a long and distinguished career of service, both to his country and City. He was an active member of the United States Army from 19861991 and served in Operation Desert Storm in 1990. After his Sharon Engeldrum holds baby Kristian at the service was complete, he remained a reservist with the December 2nd plaque dedication ceremony for her National Guard’s famed “Fight- husband FF Christian Engeldrum. ing 69th.” He was a New York came back to the Bronx where he was City Police Officer at the 47th Precinct assigned to Ladder 61 in December of before he became a firefighter in 1999. 2001. During his 5 - year FDNY career he was He will be remembered as a great fireassigned to Engine 89 in the Bronx and fighter, heroic soldier, and loving father. Engine 58 in Manhattan. He eventually

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STEPHEN J. CASSIDY President ENG. 236 JAMES SLEVIN Vice President

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JOSEPH MICCIO Recording Secretary

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ROBERT STRAUB Treasurer

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WILLIAM ROMAKA Health & Safety Officer Sergeant-at-Arms

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LESTER LAYNE Fire Marshal Representative

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The Fire Lines - January 2006