Notes From the Fireground
By JOHN MALECKY, Senior Columnist | October 06, 2020 | NEW JERSEY
Story No. 100620113
ON THE BOOK SHELF
By John M. Malecky December, 2020
Notes from the Fireground
Memoir of a New York Firefighter
By Thomas Dunne
FSP Books & Videos
188 Central Street, Suite #4
Hudson, MA 01749-1330
This is a soft cover book measuring 6”: by 9” and has 198 pages. There are 35 chapters all of which are very interesting. The author is a retired deputy chief who served 33 years on the job. I also served 33 years in the fire department I was in and I think we both feel the same about the job…that it was the best job in the world. He comes from a firefighting family and his writing reflects both on the job and family memoirs. Each chapter deals with a single subject so to speak and for me it was an enjoyable book to read because even though our departments were vastly different in size, there were many common routines and experiences that are similar. I would say for the most part the book is about when he was a deputy but there are also chapters that deal from when he was the “new man” up through the company officer ranks. There are stories dealing with tragedy which of course is not enjoyable especially when serious injury s involved and life is lost but the reader if “on the job” goes through this book he or she will be able to empathize with the experiences. There are a number of fires written about both when he was a company officer and chief including getting into the thick of it as a lieutenant and captain. One chapter is devoted to “buffs” in which there is a slight error with an explanation from me. He stated that buffs were not firefighters. While that is true to distinguish them on the firegound, many firefighters are fire buffs when they are off duty. I figure that in his experience he never ran into any buffs that were also firefighters career or volunteer so he was being honest. While many buffs held menial jobs many were professionals who earned much more money than firefighters did. In addition there are memoirs dealing with personalities that he worked with of both good and indifferent natures. Some of the incidents he writes about I remember from the past and he explains them exactly as I remembered being reported including the Happy Land Social Club arson fire which resulted in the deaths of many young people. He served in many different neighborhoods in busy and not so busy districts so he was a well rounded firefighter. There are a number of black and white photos in the book most of which are of the fireground including some which were taken by one of 1st Responder News’ correspondents. All in all it is an interesting book to read!
This article is a direct street report from our correspondent and has not been edited by the 1st Responder newsroom.