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Thread: Battalion 012

  1. #1
    Administrator Kevin's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Baiting Hollow, NY

    Battalion 12

    The following brother from Battalion 12 in Manhattan made the supreme sacrifice on September 11th, 2001.


    BC. Fred Scheffold
    BC. Joseph Marchbanks, Jr.
    LT. Glenn Perry

    Battalion 12
    2282 3rd Ave.
    East Harlem

    Please make a prayer for their families.
    Post a poem, picture, or song on this site.

    Codes: B012 Manhattan
    FF. Kevin Shea Ladder 35, HazMat Ops, Currently Status: Retired on Disability and living in Baiting Hollow, NY (Long Island)

  2. #2
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    South West



  3. #3
    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2002

    Grief, duty fill firehouse

    Grief, duty fill firehouse


    Last fall, the firehouse in East Harlem was papered with messages of sympathy and encouragement. There were drawings by schoolchildren at the entrance and cards from Girl Scouts along the stairway. Sympathy notes and news clippings covered the kitchen wall.

    These came down gradually in the months since Sept. 11, and now there are signs that the firefighters are moving on, recovering their traditions. Posted around the giant kitchen table are notices for a whitewater rafting trip, a firefighters hockey team and a softball game between Engine 35 and Ladder 14, the two companies that work out of this house.

    But in reality, the memories and memorials have only moved deeper into the house. Upstairs in the small Battalion 12 office is a cross made of steel from Ground Zero. Behind it are photos of the two chiefs, Fred Scheffold of Piermont and Joseph Marchbanks of Nanuet, who rushed from this station to the World Trade Center on Sept. 11 and gave their lives in the rescue effort.

    "It's a void that you just can't fill or move aside," said Maureen McArdle Schulman, an Engine 35 firefighter and a mother of two from Shrub Oak. "It's just there. And you feel lost every time you walk into the firehouse."

    Black and purple cloth is draped above the red doors of the house, an otherwise inconspicuous building on Third Avenue just below a busy stretch of 125th Street. This is just one of the firehouses in New York City struggling with the loss of 343 firefighters who were friends, fathers and brothers. Memories return without warning, like the daily alarms.

    The memories pull the firefighters back, but the work carries them forward. They are always preparing for the next emergency through training exercises, building inspections and constant teamwork.

    "Our lives depend on the next guy," said Capt. Steve Damato, a former city schoolteacher who heads the ladder company. "We work off each other's strengths."

    'Wherever you're needed'

    Earlier this year, the ladder company received a new 95-foot truck, "donated by the good people of East Tennessee," as the inscription on the rig proclaims. The result has been a bond, improbable as it may seem, between East Harlem and East Tennessee.

    Tennessee tourists stop in regularly to say hello and check on the truck. Contributors in the Knoxville area donated the $956,000 vehicle to replace an aging tower ladder.

    "Drives like a sports car," said John Hunt, a driver for Ladder 14.

    Last month, Hunt was driving as the truck responded to a mattress fire on 115th Street and a rubbish fire at an old wire factory near the FDR Drive. Afterward, the company stopped to inspect a row of townhouses under construction in the historic Mount Morris neighborhood.

    Damato and his crew went through the buildings imagining fire scenarios and plotting rescues. Damato pointed to hazards such as the spaces beneath the floor where flames could travel and aluminum studs that would give way quickly in a blaze. Building conditions are kept in a database and reported with each alarm, so firefighters will know what they're going into.

    "The important thing is we all want to go home safe," John Coyle, a firefighter from Suffern, said as he walked down 121st Street. "We lost way too many guys as it is."

    The firehouse, like the neighborhood around it, is rebuilding. Several of its 50 firefighters moved on during the past year because of promotions, transfers to rescue companies or retirements.

    "After Sept. 11, wherever you're needed, you're needed," said Capt. Domenick Caleri of Engine 35.

    Caleri was assigned to a one-year detail at the Fire Department training academy on Randall's Island, just across the Triborough Bridge. He left the firehouse as a lieutenant with the ladder company and will return in December as captain of the engine. Caleri is replacing a captain who developed severe asthma after the Sept. 11 attack.

    "Multiple victims possible," Caleri said into a hand-held radio one afternoon as firefighters performed a practice drill at the academy. Caleri was acting as a dispatcher, standing outside a brick structure where smoke and fire are generated to simulate a real emergency. Three companies of firefighters were moving through the smoke as part of a refresher course.

    Caleri was reminded of Chief Scheffold's words explaining why firefighters enter burning buildings, even if no one is inside: "That's what we do. We go in."

    Training exercises have become more critical since Sept. 11, because so many veteran firefighters died or left the department.

    "The senior man hands down a lot of experience. And we lost a lot of them, both to the World Trade Center and to retirements," said Caleri, who lives in Somers. The faces of the Fire Department seem different now, he said. "They look so young."

    As part of his duties, Caleri has attended funerals and memorial services, organized by another unit at Randall's Island. There were days when he attended three services. He has been to about 100 in all.

    The response

    On Sept. 11, Engine 35 was called to the scene, and Ladder 14 went to cover a firehouse in midtown. Off-duty firefighters rode down at various times, commandeering a public bus and other vehicles.

    "Every single day I'm in the firehouse, something comes up where we talk about it," said Dennis Fischer, a firefighter from West Nyack. He was with the engine company when it drove down West Street in lower Manhattan, unaware that the huge, dark cloud came from the collapse of the south tower.

    "One guy says, 'I don't see the other building,' " Fischer recalled. "I thought all that dust was from debris from the explosion."

    Members of the engine company witnessed the collapse of the second tower, and went into the pile, checking crushed vehicles and hoping to find someone alive in the rubble. The chiefs had been called to the scene immediately, and died in the rescue effort.

    Photos of Marchbanks and Scheffold are at the center of a large, framed poster of all 343 fallen firefighters hanging in the firehouse on a cinder block wall next to where the rigs are parked. Also at the center is a photo of Lt. Charles Garbarini, who used to work in the house and whose sense of humor is well-remembered.

    The two chiefs both grew up in the Bronx and lived in Rockland. Retired firefighter Danny Peters pointed to the photos and spoke with admiration, as if writing the captions.

    "One of the few people that came from the bottom, rose to the top and never changed," he said, pointing to Scheffold.

    "Always looked like that," he said, referring to Marchbanks' wide smile. "Always concerned about everybody, how they're doing."

    The chiefs' names also remain in the spot at the back of the firehouse where they used to hang their gear.

    A safe place

    The first anniversary is bringing up a mix of feelings among the firefighters

  4. #4
    Administrator Neil's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    South West


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