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Thread: Rescue 005

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    Moderator patries's Avatar
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    Rescue 5

    Last edited by patries; 01-11-2002 at 11:13 AM.

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    Administrator Neil's Avatar
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    RESCUE 5 FDNY STATEN ISLAND

    RESCUE 5 'REMEMBER THEM' STATEN ISLAND

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    NYC's Smallest Borough Still Dealing With Extraordinary Loss On September 11th

    NYC's Smallest Borough Still Dealing With Extraordinary Loss On September 11th

    JOE TORRES
    WABC - New York, NY

    (Staten Island, New York-WABC, October 29, 2001) -- More than 300 New York City firefighters died in the September 11th attacks. Nearly a quarter of them lived on Staten Island. It is a disproportionate loss for New York's smallest borough, and they're taking it hard.

    Of the 343 New York City firefighters who died in the World Trade Center attacks, 78 were from Staten Island. At Rescue 5, in the Concord section of the borough, 14 firefighters responded to the disaster, only one came home.

    Lt. Robert Dimperio, FDNY Rescue 5: "You don't see the same faces. There's a third of the company missing. You look on the board, you see their names, but you know they're not coming back. It's not pleasant."

    On Monday, family, friends and dozens of firefighters said good bye to Louis Modaferri, the popular captain of Rescue 5. The seemingly endless string of funerals on Staten Island has led to a tremendous outpouring of support for New York's bravest.

    The thank you's are appreciated, but the gratitude can sometimes be a painful reminder of the tragedy. Joe Esposito lost 13 firehouse colleagues, a brother and a cousin. Joe Esposito, FDNY Rescue 5: "The minute they say 'thank you' you start reminiscing and thinking of everything that happened. I mean its a month and a half, but it seems like it happened yesterday."

    Economically speaking, the terrorist attacks have not devastated Staten Island businesses the way they hurt lower Manhattan, Brooklyn and Queens. However, there are many nonprofit organizations in the borough and they are suffering as contributors are now sending their dollars to disaster relief funds.

    There are also major concerns about the future of the Great Kills landfill. Right now it serves as crime scene area. As investigators sift through the rubble of what once were the Twin Towers, residents wonder if the city will reopen the landfill to save money currently spent on hauling trash out of state.

    Lawrence De Maria, Staten Island Chamber of Commerce: "The last time the city asked us to open the dump for two or four years it lasted 50 years. So this would be stake through the heart of Staten Island, economically and morally."

    And De Maria says that's too much of a price to pay for a borough that has already lost so, so much.

    Rescue 5 Family Fund:
    1850 Clove Road
    Staten Island, NY 10304
    718-494-4260



    http://www.firehouse.com/terrorist/1101_Pstaten.html

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    Administrator Neil's Avatar
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    RESCUE FIREFIGHTER'S WTC

    FALLEN HEROES

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    Administrator Neil's Avatar
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    FDNY RESCUE 5 MEMORIAL

    FDNY RESCUE 5 MEMORIAL

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Battered but unbowed, Rescue 5 carries on

    Battered but unbowed, Rescue 5 carries on

    Elite unit's members toil in the heroic shadow of 11 men

    Tuesday, September 10, 2002

    By RYAN LILLIS
    ADVANCE STAFF WRITER

    It was a cold night in March when the man in the denim jacket walked into a deli on Clove Road, just down the block from the firehouse decorated with yellow roses. On his right sleeve, the man -- dark hair, mustache, broad shoulders -- wore a patch.

    "Blue Thunder," it read, and that meant Rescue Co. 5.

    "Where did you get that patch, did you buy it?" the man behind the counter asked, bagging the customer's orange juice and reaching for his change.

    There was an uncomfortable silence on both sides of the counter, and the man in the denim jacket lifted the right side of his mouth in an attempt at smiling.

    "No, it's mine. I work there," he replied.

    "Oh, thank God," whispered the man behind the counter. "You made it."

    And even now, Rescue 5 remains a legend. In a borough of smoke-eaters, where it's often said one of every four New York firefighters lives, Rescue 5 was Staten Island's front line when it came to the World Trade Center.

    Twelve of them went in that day when the Twin Towers were burning. One came home.

    Those 11 who are gone now were just a small portrait of what the Fire Department lost on Sept. 11. For that matter, they are but a slice of the 77 firefighters and one fire patrolman from Staten Island who are dead.

    But their firehouse is different; passing through the front door is like entering a chapel, where "remember" is as common a word as "fire." When their truck rolls through the streets of the borough, some people stop.

    They pass through Silver Lake Park, and a man on the golf course tips his hat.

    They stop at a red light in Stapleton, and young children scream their name.

    "I hope people never forget," said Chris Dowd, a firefighter at Rescue 5 for the last seven years. "And I hope that people don't look back on that day and think of the fear. I hope they think of the heroes."

    This roster of heroes is well known. They include men like Battalion Chief Louis Modafferi, the commander of the company. Ask the man who replaced him, and he says Modafferi can never be replaced.

    And there was Lt. Harvey Harrell, one of five guys from that company who came in from his day off to die in the line of duty.

    Firefighter Jeffrey Palazzo, the quick learner. Michael Fiore, who drove them there. Nicholas Rossomando, whose smile could melt through steel.

    And, of course, there were others, all trained in high-rise rescues, underwater saves and everything in between.

    "What can you say about them?" said Capt. John Ferry, on this Sept. 11 the head of the company. "There isn't enough."

    When those towers fell, changing the New York City skyline, the face of Rescue 5 changed with it. There are 13 new men in the firehouse and a few more spaces to be filled before the company is back to full strength. One firefighter transferred out after Sept. 11 and three more are on extended medical leave.

    The new group is meshing well, the veterans report. The men who have joined the unit since the attacks aren't trying to fill anyone's shoes, they're just trying to keep Rescue 5 on track.

    "There is no way we can replace those brave guys, but I can try and help this company simply by being here," said Dennis Stagliaon, who spent 20 years with the FDNY before this, his first assignment in a rescue company.

    "I'm honored to be here," said Peter Greibesland, simply. "That's all I can say."

    The new guys were veterans before they got here, but 20 years on the job couldn't provide enough training for what awaited them on Clove Road. There were funerals and grieving family members. There were shoes too big to fill.

    "When you look at the guys who didn't make it, they represent a collective experience that will never be duplicated," said Lt. Gregory Haynes, who was transferred to Rescue 5 in February. "The skills and the knowledge of anyone who comes here will never compare to that. The caliber of the guys that were working that day alone, they can't be replaced."

    The company is drilling more frequently -- up to three times a day -- keeping up with the constant task of fine-tuning. For a firehouse in transition, the main goal is making sure the people who work there now are as good as the 11 who were lost.

    They are open with one another, and there is an increasing bond between the new guys and those who have been there all along. Despite this, some of the new members said they will never really consider themselves part of the "true" Rescue 5.

    "They're all very enthusiastic, they realize the magnitude of what happened," Haynes said. "But it's a tremendous amount of responsibility. When I go out on a call, I'm not just responsible for the five guys behind me, I have to live up to the guys who perished."

    On a Tuesday night in mid-August, over a dozen members of the company took an overnight canoe trip in the Delaware Water Gap. It was a bonding experience.

    "That was probably the first time a lot of us were together when it wasn't a funeral or a memorial," Dowd said.

    Those who are new to Rescue 5 are asking questions and seeking guidance. For perspective, all they have to do is take in a cigarette with Peter Brunaes, who has been working at the firehouse on Clove Road since they reopened the place in 1984.

    "We're coming together," he said, watching as two of the new guys worked out a scuba drill in the bottom of Silver Lake. "They come here with a lot of enthusiasm."

    On his next breath, Brunaes' attention shifted to the ground. It was as if he was replaying the last year in his head.

    "I've never seen anything like this," he said, "and I hope to hell I never do again."

    His thoughts are someplace other than that drill.

    "It's been a long road."

    A little softer.

    "History goes on. Life goes on."



    http://www.silive.com/news/advance/i...5302029524.xml

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    Registered User SeaBreeze's Avatar
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    Rescue 5's sole survivor

    Rescue 5's sole survivor

    Bill Spade recovers from Trade Center trauma with the child whose image helped keep him alive

    Tuesday, September 10, 2002

    By RYAN LILLIS
    ADVANCE STAFF WRITER


    A reason for survival sleeps in a baby's crib in Great Kills, his wide blue eyes telling you maybe there is some higher meaning behind Bill Spade's story.

    John Michael Spade is 14 months old, and on the day his daddy went to work and got out of the choking dust alive, he was an infant. On Sept. 11, 2001, this curious baby wasn't talking yet.

    He is now, his father will tell you proudly. He said his first word just a few months back:

    "Go."

    Which is what his father did a year ago. Go to his truck. Go to Manhattan. Go do what he could.

    Spade drove by himself to the World Trade Center ahead of the rest of his company -- Rescue Co. 5 -- in a small red truck named Tactical Support 2. The rest of his crew was on a call at Bayley Seton Hospital, and arrived a few minutes later.

    By noon, he was the only member of Rescue Co. 5 still standing. The 11 others who had fought to clear the buildings were gone.

    There was a minute or two after both towers collapsed, Spade trapped in the lobby of a strange building, when he thought death was near. He couldn't breathe, he didn't think he'd make it out. He said a prayer and said goodbye to his family, including the baby he was afraid he'd never get to know.

    Which was exactly why Spade needed to live. Two days later, after a stay in the hospital, Bill Spade was home.

    And who knows? On Sept. 11, maybe somewhere in this city a daddy walked in the front door of his house and picked up his baby son, and had Bill Spade -- and his baby son -- to thank for it.

    "I think about that sometimes," Spade was saying on his back porch the other day, the thought of the small wonder napping in the other room forming tears in his eyes.

    One of the first things Spade did the night he got home was tuck in little John, bending down to whisper a message in his ear.

    "I'll be there for you," he said.

    One year later, Spade's most peaceful moments are the afternoon walks down Dewey Avenue with John, now a 34-inch-tall toddler with blonde hair and hands that are always exploring. Spade walks around with a limp -- his right knee was wrecked on Sept. 11 -- but he won't miss those walks.

    "They call him the King of Dewey Avenue," says his wife, Cynthia. "Everyone knows him."

    So many Staten Islanders seem to know Spade's story; his first-person account -- written longhand on 10 loose-leaf pages in the middle of the night with a nurse by his side -- appeared in the Advance on Sept. 14. The experience that left Spade with a torn anterior collateral ligament in his right knee, a black eye and a banged-up shoulder also burned a hole in his memory.

    "When I go about my everyday life without the Fire Department, I can focus a little better," he says. "But it comes back on me. When I hear a loud noise, I jump."

    Keeping his mind straight can at times be a challenge. He might be filling a cup with soda and not realize that he's been standing there while the cup is overflowing. Darkness is rough and so is going back to the Rescue 5 headquarters on Clove Road in Concord.

    "For a while, that whole house was a memorial," Spade says. "I'd just go there to find word if anyone had been found, but they never were. You just want some word that someone's been found alive. It wasn't a jovial place."

    When he goes back now, with only six of the 25 guys who were working the day of the attacks still there, he wishes there was a way to go back to Sept. 10.

    "If I could only set the clock back, they'd all be there," he says. It's why he talks about his experience openly, to anyone who asks. It's his tribute to the 11 members of Rescue 5, his personal way of making sure no one will ever forget them.

    His travels are lonely now.

    "Being the only one from Staten Island that made it is a little tougher; it's a little tougher thinking you're in a boat by yourself," he says.

    But not entirely. There's the blue-eyed package sleeping in the other room, and 7-year-old Billy showing off his trophy case or ramming through the house with a mouth that won't quit. And the glue of this family, Cynthia Spade, who kept things running in those weeks filled with funerals and nightmares and lost income.

    "I had no choice," she says.

    "I'm still trying to figure out why he's here," she says, focusing on the kitchen floor.

    A lot of firefighters who were not there at the start, or made it out alive, say they feel guilty they aren't on that 343-name list. In their most open conversations, a firefighter might even say he wishes he had died with his "brothers," a term that takes on a little different meaning in the FDNY.

    "The survivor guilt, I don't really know what that is," Spade says.

    It's one of those things he talks about on a regular basis with a therapist -- something, he says, that is a necessary process of living on after Sept. 11. ("I suppose if Tony Soprano can do it, it's OK.")

    Therapy became a part of the job for many firefighters following the attacks. Historically an agency where personal problems were kept "in house," the department's counseling unit saw an average of 1,000 firefighters a month following the attacks.

    Spade also writes about his feelings, not in a journal or in letters, but in notes to himself.

    "Lucky to be alive," he wrote a few weeks back.

    His career with the Fire Department will never be the same. After over 16 years with the FDNY -- another two with the Police Department -- Spade is on light duty, filling most of his working days with paperwork. He will probably retire soon, he says.

    There are just too many reminders. A big one is this week, one year to the day. On Dewey Avenue there will be a steak dinner with the family, and it will probably feel something like Thanksgiving. No matter what, Bill Spade will be there, holding his 14-month-old son.

    "There's a reason I'm alive, I guess," he says.


    http://www.silive.com/september11/in...esurvivor.html

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