Main Content

Columns

Haz-Mat and Decon Apparatus of the New York City Fire Department

By John Malecky, Senior Columnist | June 01, 2020 | NEW JERSEY

Story No. 060620104

ON THE BOOK SHELF

By John M. Malecky August, 2020


Haz-Mat And Decon Apparatus of the
New York City Fire Department
By John A. Calderone

Available from:
FSP Books & Videos
188 Central Street, Suite #4
Hudson, MA 01749-1330
1-800-522-8528
E-mail: support@fire-police-ems.com
www.fire-police-ems.com

Price: $34.95

This is a soft cover book from Fire Apparatus Journal, measuring 8 ½ inches by 11 inches, with 80 pages. It is a chronological history of the organization of the fire department’s hazmat operations. There are 3 ½ pages of text to bring you through the early days to the present.

Hazardous materials have always been with us and in the fire service we have dealt with the incidents to the best of our knowledge and abilities with the resources at our disposal. I have known the author for 40+ years and can say without reservation that he is a person of accurate detail when it comes to writing about apparatus. This book is another example of his accurate reporting with the help of other sources which he acknowledges.

Rescue Company 1, organized in 1915, answered hazardous material alarms in addition of course to the other types of alarms fire and rescue emergencies. Photos of two vehicles which made up the early stages of hazmat apparatus are included, though they were not designated as such. The history has to be read carefully because much has changed and expanded since the first dedicated Hazmat 1 was organized in 1984 after responsibilities had previously been handled by rescue companies with Rescue 4 being the primary response unit with a second piece running as a support vehicle. As time went on more support units were added and they included decontamination units, containment trailers, tenders, utility units, an asbestos removal truck, and later a vast amount of other specialized apparatus when EMS was absorbed into the fire department. If I am starting to lose you or confuse you, do not worry. All of this detail is included in these pages.

I should mention that not all of the newly added vehicles were new. Some were donated after 9-11-01 to help replace destroyed apparatus from the collapses. Others were reassigned form other designated duties and still others were refurbished and redesigned from existing trucks. One tractor was actually acquired from the police pound. In addition, the vintages of much of these used trucks do not match the years that they were put in service, but again, the author has worked all of that out for you to relax and enjoy the book. With few exceptions the photos are full page and all but two are color. This is another book that has hit a home run within Fire Apparatus Journal Publications.

This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.